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Full text of "The fat of the land [microform] : the story of an American farm"

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MICROCOPY RESOLUTION TIST CHART 

(ANSI and ISO TEST CHART No. 2] 




S APPLIED IIVU4GE Inc 

^- 1653 East Main Street 

'S RochMter, Ne* York U609 USA 

= (716) 482 - 0300 - Phone 

S (716) 2eS- 5989 -Fax 



s 

521 

S9 



THE FAT OP THB LAND 



j2^2^ 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



Zbe Stor? of an 
Hmcrican farm 



BT 



JOHN WILLIAMS STREETER 



TORONTO 

MORANG & CO., LIMITED 

19M 



I 






COPTEIQHT, 1904, 

Br THE MAOMILLAN COMPanT. 



M^^^-CXT' """ '""'"^ '""■"'■ '- «'--^ 



Sortoijoo Unn 

J. S. Cnrtlng s 10. - itowlcl, ft SBltb to 

Norwood, .MftH., U.S.A. 



To POLLY 



eh /i5<S« 



CONTENTS 



oupnm 
L 

n. 
m. 

IV. 
V. 
VI. 

vn. 

VIII. 

IX. 

X. 

XI. 

XII. 

xin. 
xrv. 

XV. 

XVI. 

XVII. 

XVIII. 

XIX. 

XX. 

XXI. 

xxn. 



»M1 

Mr Excuse g 

Thb Hdhtiko of the Lakd .... 11 

The First Visit to the Fabm . . . U 

The Hired Man 26 

BoRiNQ FOB Water 31 

Wk take Possession 33 

The Horse-amd-buoot Man .... 46 

We Plat the Farm 49 

HoCSEKILEANINQ KA 

Fenced in ., 

The Bdildino Line » 

Cabpenters quiT Work 79 

Planning fob the Tbees .... 78 

Planting op the Trees gg 

Polly's Judgment Hall 94 

WiNTEB Work jq. 

What shall we ask of the Hen? . . 108 

White Wvandottes uq 

Fried Pork ,,. 

A Ration for Product jgi 

The Razorback ,„« 

The Old Orchard ^35 



CONTENTS 



xxin. 

XXIV. 

XXV. 

XXVI. 

XXVII. 

XXVIII. 

XXIX. 

XXX. 

XXXI. 

xxxn. 
xxxni. 

XXXIV. 

XXXV. 
XXXVI. 

xxxvn. 

XXXVIII. 

XXXIX. 

XL. 

XLI. 

XLII. 

xun. 

XLIV. 

XLV. 

XLVI. 

XLvn. 
XLvm. 

XLIX 
L. 



Th« Fimt Hatch . 
The HoLBTiiN Mii« Machw, 
The Dawykaid , 
Little Pio» . 

■ ^°"« Of THE Home Fortt 

Dhcouwtiko the Market 

From City to ConKTRT 

AOTUjfH Receonino 

The Childrek . 

The HoME<OMiNa 

Christmas Eve . 

Christmas . 

We 01,081 THE BooEs for -98 

Our Friends 

The Headman's Job . 

sphiso ok '97 

The Yoowo Orchard 

The Timothy Harvest 

Strii, at Gordon's Mine 

T3E KlOT . 

The Result. 

D,;ej> Waters . 

Doos AND Horses 

The Skim-milk Trust 
Naboth's Vineyard . 
Maids and Mallards 
The Sunken Garden . 
The Headman Generalues 



Tin 

. 188 

• 144 
■ 160 

• 1S5 
. 1S8 

. m 

. 160 
. 174 
. 178 
■ 188 
. 188 
. 184 
. 189 
. 208 
. 210 
. 217 
. 22S 
. 230 
. 286 
250 
260 
268 
274 
282 
286 
294 
288 
303 



t88 

144 

60 

66 

68 

H 

)8 

■4 

8 

3 

9 

I 



LI. 

Ln. 

LIU. 

LIT. 

LV. 

LVI. 

LVIL 

Lvm. 

LIX 

LX. 

LXI. 

LXir. 

Lxin. 
Lxrv. 

LXV. 
LXVL 

Lxvn. 



CONTENTS ^ 

r™ GHAKIWIHUI '^ 

ThI ThWD RicioOTKO . . . . jjj 

Thi Mm MACBiiia • • . . ' 817 

Bacon akd Eoo» , 

„ 828 

Th. Old Ti« Fabm-baud .... 887 

Thi Sthdioati 

_ 848 

Tai Death of Sib Tom . . . ^ j^ 

Bacteria . 

„ «a 

Match-makiuo . . ,„ 

• .- • . 866 

"I TOLD YOD BO" . . ..„ 

The Beloiak Farmcb ggj 

HOME-COMINO ... -_. 

• . . . 875 

Ah Hcnobkd Fold 

• . • . 878 

Comfckt me with Apples • ... 888 
The End of the Thibd Yeab ... 888 
LooKiNo Backward .... tuu 

LOOBDCO FOBWABO ^q. 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



THE FAT 01 THE LAND 



CHAPTER I 

mr ExousB 

My sixtieth birthday is a thing of yesterday, 
and I have, therefore, more than half descended 
the western slope. I have no quarrel with life or 
with time, for both huve been polite to me ; and I 
wish to give an account of the past seven yea-s 
to prove the politeneM of life, and to show how 
time has made amends to me for the forced res- 
ignation of my professional ambitions. For 
twenty-five years, up to 1895, I practised medi- 
cme and surgery in a large city. I loved my 
profession beyond the love of most men, and it 
loved me ; at least, it gave me all that a reason- 
able man could desire in the way of honors and 
emoluments. The thought that 1 should ever 
drop out of this attractive, satisfying life, never 
seriou-sly occurred to me, though I was conscious 
of a strong and persistent force that urged me 
toward the soil. By ch<?ice and by training I 
was a physician, and I gloried in my work; but 
by instinct I was, am, and always shall be, a 
farmer. All my life I have had visions of farms 

3 



* THE PAT OF THE LAND 

with flocks and herds, but I did not expect to real- 

ize my visions until I came on earth a second time 

I wou^d never have given up my profession 

voluntarily ; but when it gave me up. I had 

%*??V f dismissal, surrender my ambitions. 

and fall back upon my primary instinct for di- 

version and happiness. The dismissal came with- 

out warning, like the fall of a tree when no wind 

shakes the for-ist, but it was imperative and per- 

r^i^T'- J>/^^*°'^ (""d they were among 
the best m the land) said. « No more of this kind 
of work for years." and I haJ to accept their 
verdict, though I knew that "for years" meant 
forever. 

My diwppointment lasted longer than the acute 
attack ; but. thanks to the cheerful spirit of my 
wife, by early summer of that year I was able 
to face the situation with courage that t as 
strength increased. Fortunately we wei veil 
to do. and the loss of professional income vas 
not a serious matter. We were not rich as 
wealth IS counted nowadays; but we were more 
than comfortable for ourselves and our children, 
though I should never earn another dollar. This 
IS not the common state of the physician, who 
gives more and gets less than most other men • 
It was simply a happy combination of circum- 
stances Polly was a small heiress when we 
married ; I had some money irom my maternal 
grandfather; our income was larger than our 
necessities, and our investments had been fortu- 



XT EXCUSB 



i 



nate. Fate had Mt no wolf to howl at our 
door. 

In June we decided to take to the woods, or 
rather to the country, to see what it had in store 
for us. The more we thought of it, the better I 
liked the plan, and Polly was no less happy over 
it. We talked of it morning, noon, and night, 
and ray half-smothered instinct grew by what it 
fed on. Countless schemes at length resolved 
themselves into a factory farm, which should be 
a source of pleasure as well as of income. It 
was of all sizes, shapes, industries, and limiU of 
expenditure, as the hours passed and enthusiasm 
waxed or waned. I finally compromised on from 
two hundred to three hundred acres of land, with 
a total expenditure of not more than $60,000 
for the building of my factory. It was to pro- 
duce butter, eggs, pork, and apples, all of best 
quality, and they were to be sold at best prices. 
I discoursed at some length on farms and farmers 
to Polly, who slept through most of the ha' uigue. 
She afterward said that she enjoyed it, but I never 
knew whether she referred to my lecture or to her 
nap. 

If farming be the art of elimination, I want it 
not. If the farmer and the farmer's family must, 
by the nature of the occupation, be deprived of 
reasonable leisure and luxury, if the conveniences 
and amenities must be shorn close, if comfort 
must be denied and life be reduced to the ele- 
mental necessities of food and shelter, I want it 



• THE FAT OF THE LAND 

not. But I do not believe that this is the case. 
The wealth of the world comes from the land 
which produces all the direct and immediate 
essentials for the preservation of life and the 
protection of the race. When people cease to 
look to the land for support, they lose their in- 
dependence and fall under the tyranny of circum- 
stances beyond their control. They are no longer 
producers, but consumers ; and their prosperity 
IS contingent upon the prosperity and good will 
of other people who are more or less alien. Only 
when a considerable percentage of a nation is 
living close to the land can the highest type of 
mdependence and pro.sperity be enjoyed. This 
law applies to the mass and also to the indi- 
vidual. The farmer, who produces all the neces- 
sities and n,any of the luxuries, and whose 
products are in constant demand and never out 
of vogue, should be independent in mode of life 
and prosperous in his fortunes. If this is not 
the condition of the average fanner (and I 
am sorry to say it is not), the fault is to be 
found, not in the land, but in the man who 
tills it. 

Ninety-five per cent of those who engage in com- 
mercial and professional occupations fail of larg3 
success ; more than fifty per cent fail utterly, and 
are doomed to miserable, dependent lives in the 
service of the more fortunate. That farmers do 
not fail nearly so often is due to the bounty of 
the land, the beneficence of Nature, and the ever- 



MY EXCPSE 7 

recurring seed-time and harvest, which even the 
most thoughtless cannot interrupt 

The waking dream of my life had been to 
own and to work land ; to own it free of debt 
and to work it with the same intelligence that 
has made me successful in my profession. Bmins 
always seemed to me as necessary to success in 
farramg as in law, or in medicine, or in business 
I always felt that mind should control events in 
agriculture as in commercial life; that listlessness, 
carelessness, lack of thrift and energy, and waste, 
were the factors most potent in keeping the farmer 
poor and unreasonably harassed by the obligations 
• , , J^^ ™*" ^^° cultivate the soil create 
mcalculable wealth ; by rights they should be the 
nation s healthiest, happiest, most comfortable.and 
most mdependent citizens. Their lives should be 
long, free from care and distress, and no more 
strenuous than is wholesome. That this condition 
IS not general is due to the fact that the average 
farmer puts muscle before mind and brawn before 
brains, and follows, with unthinking persistence, 
the crude and careless traditions of his forefathers 
Conditions on the farm are gradually changing 
for the better. The agricultural colleges, the ex- 
periment stations, the lecture courses which are 
given all over the country, and the general diffu- 
sion of agricultural and horticultural knowledge 
are introducing among farming communities a 
more intelligent and more liberal treatment of 
land. But these changes are so slow, and there 



« THE FAT OF THE LAND 

is so much to be done before even a snail per- 
centage of our six millions of farmers begin to 
realize their opportunities, that even the weakest 
effort m this direction may be of use. This is 
my only excuse for going minutely into the de- 
tails of my experiment in the cultivation of land 
The plain and circumstantial narrative of how 
Four Oaks grew, in seven years, from a poor, ill- 
paying, sadly neglected farm, into a beautiful 
home and a profitable investment, must simply 
stand for what it is worth. It may give useful 
hints, to be followed on a smaller or a larger 
scale, or it may arouse criticisms which will work 
for good, both to the critic and to the author. 
I do not claim experience, excepting the most 
limited ; I do not claim originality, except that 
most of this work was new to me ; I do not claim 
hardships or difficulties, for I had none ; but I do 
claim that I made good, that I arrived, that my 
experiment was physically and financially a suc- 
cess, and, as such, I am proud of it, and wish to 
give it to the world. 

I was fifty-three years old when I began this 
experiment, and I was obliged to do quickly 
whatever I intended to do. I could devote any 
part of $60,000 to the experiment without in- 
convenience. My desire was to test the capa- 
city of ordinary farm land, when properly treated, 
to support an average family in luxury, paying 
good wages to more than the usual number of 
people, keeping open house for many friends, 



■ 



MY EXCUSE 9 

and at the same time not depleting my bank 
account. I wished to experiment in mien,ive 
farming, using ordinary farm land as other men 
might do under similar or modified circumstances. 
I believed that if I fed the land, it would feed 
me. My plan was to sell nothing from the farm 
except finished products, such as butter, fruit 
eggs, chickens, and hogs. I believed that best 
results would be a.- "ned by keeping only the 
best stock, and, afte feeding it liberally, selling 
It in the most favorable market. To live on the 
fat of the land was what I proposed to do; and 
1 ask your indulgence while I dip into the details 
of this seven years' experiment. 

You may say that few persons have the time 
inclination, taste, or money to carry out such an 
experiment; that the average farmer must make 
each year pay, and that the exploiting of this 
matter is therefore of interest to a very limited 
number. Admitting much of this, I still clair. 
that there is a lesson to every struggling farmer 
in this narrative. It should teach the value of 
brain work on the farm, a the importance 
of intelligent cultivation; also the advantages of 
good seed, good tilth, good specimens of well- 
bred stock, good food, and good care. Feed the 
land liberally, and it will return you much. Per- 
mit no waste in space, product, time, tools, or 
strength. Do in a small way, if need be, what 
1 have done on a large scale, and you will quickly 
commence to get good dividends. I have spent 



81 



10 



THE PAT OF THE LAND 



much more money than was really necessary on 
This' r "' " *'^ -namentation'l^f FouTiaks 
asked thlT''."'' P*'"' ''' '""^ experiment I 

to gratif:, the eye, and please thi ZZ^l 

tekeun th ^-^t/ea"-? After that we will 

take up the yea.^ as they come, finding something 

.ppli^.«o„ of ih. Iheorr i.-. r*.™ f?"™ 
imaffinafiVo T ij ^t. 1 am not 

magmative. I could not write a romance if T 
tned. My strength lies in special deUH and I 
am w,llmg to spend a lot o? tim.> in wo'kL 
out a problem. I do not claim to hav7sp nf 

IttaS ?f ^r'^''"^* -kinrseSu 
ZZ^hI ""^^^ '"^"^' ^"'J I ^^ willing 

Ta/er ; r^i^Towtinirr ^"r - 
p^i^siitt:^ ;r ^^« -Smi-anTt: 



CHAPTER II 

THE HtTNTINO OF THK LAKD 

The location of the farm for this experiment 
was of the utmost importance. The land must 
be withm reasonable distance of the city and 
near a milroad, consequently within easy touch 
of the market ; and if possible it must be near a 
thrivmg village, to insure good train service. As 
to size, I was somewhat uncertain ; my minimum 
hrait was 150 acres and 400 the maximum. The 
land must be fertile, or capable of being made 
so. 

I advertised for a farm of from two hundred 
to four hundred acres, within thirty-five miles of 
town, and convenient to a good line of transpor- 
tation. Fifty-seven replies came, of which forty- 
SIX were impossible, eleven worth a second 
readmg, and five worth investigating. My third 
trip carried me thirty miles southwest of the 
city, to a village almost wholly made up of 
wealthy people who did business in town, and 
who had their permanent or their summer homes 
in this village. There were probably twenty- 
seven or twentr- --ht hundred people in the 
village, most o im owned estates of fj-on* 
11 



12 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



to «100,000. These seemed ideal surroundings 
The farm was a trifle more than two miS 
from the station, and 820 acres in extent If 

soufhTt l°^f ^°' ''*" * '^'I^' ^hile on the 

oad'and'th '7f '°' * ""^ ''^ » g^-«»ed 

road The lay of the land in general was a 

nSh ha^ „f f "" ^r* °^ ^'>'«J^ ^^s in the 
north half of the southeast forty. The land 

retehed away to the west, gradually sop'g 

to ,ts lowest pomt, which was about two-thMs 

of .he distance to the western boundary A 

j'l! I i^T^ * "* springtime, though during 
Westward from the brook the land sloped 

f^y'to'flf?"""^ ''■™'"^''"« '« - f°-t'of 
ronJv *^^'y »'='*^- This forest was in good 

oaS a'T Jt' "■'^ "«'« '"'^"^^ --etie'sof 
oak and hickory, with a scattering of wild 

underbrush, weed!, ar/XflorrTh^eraL' 
was general y good, especially the lower parU of 

t lav oVf "' .'''' ^'^'^' ^^'''"^'^ "«« 'hin, but 
It lay on top of a friable clay which is fertile 
when properly worked and enriched. 

me farm belonged to an unsettled estate, and 



THE IlrKTING OF THE LAND 13 

was much run down, as little had been done to 
improve its fertility, and much to deplete it 
There were two sets of builHinKs, including a 
house of goodly proportions, a cUtage of no 
particular value, and some dilapidated barns. 
The property could be bought at a bargain. It 
had been held at «100 an acre ; but as the estate 
was m process of settlempnt, and there was an 
urgent desire to force a sale, I finally secured it 
for «71 per acre. The two renters on the farm 
still had six months of occupancy before their 
leases expired. They were willing to resign their 
leases if I would pay a reasonable sum for the 
s-tanding crops and their stock and equipments. 
The crops comprised about forty acres of corn, 
fifty acres of oats, and five acres of potatoes. 
The stock was composed of two herds of cows 
(seven in one and nine in the other), eleven spring 
calves, about forty hogs, and the usual assort- 
ment of domestic fowls. The equipment of the 
farm in machinery and tools was meagre to 
the last degree. I offered the renters $700 and 
«600, respectively, for their leasehold and other 
property. This was more than their value, but 
I wanted to take possession at once. 



CHAPTER III 

THE FIE8T VISIT TO THE FAEH 

torlZTjZ "' '"'"' ''''' "'•^ ^ -"*-ted 

over the experiment as { anS sSe ff *""''*! '*= 
quick to see, and prompt 'to perfo J Sh'' "' 

o have the planning oAhe ho^^e g'unds T 
house and the gardens- anH n^f i l""® 
ning, but also fhe Ln'cSroT ' ''' ^^^"■ 

Exttef %heser;£'7.T-""'" '™"«''* - *» 
is of the best tT u'^'""^"'""'*'^'''^'''^^^^. 

and the fare is moderate ft T' :''''■■ ^'^' 
rides —thirt,, fi ""'^^'^ate. §8.75 for twenty-five 
naes,_thirty-f5ve cents a ride. We h'r«>H »n 
oarnage and started for the farm Th « ? ?^'^ 
mile was over a well-kent 1 ^' ^'■■''* ^^^^^ 

14 



THE FIB8T VISIT TO THE FAKM 16 
the country places of well-to^o people who love 

Some of hem have ten or fifteen acres of ground 
but th,s land s for breathing space and 'beauty 
— not for serious cultivation. Beyond these 
homes we followed a well-gravelled roadleadtg 
directly west. This road is bordered by smaU 

tha?rf ? ^ "^V ^""^'^ *"«'^*'°" t° the fact 
that the few apple trees we saw were healthy 

and well grown, though quite independent of the 

farmer's or the pruner's care. Thl^ thrifty con! 

d, .on of unkept apple orchards delighted me 

e^turetV" "''' ^PP'-^-wing a prominri 
feature m my experiment, and I reasoned that if 
^ese trees did fairly well without cultivation or 
care, others would do excellently well with both 
As we approached the second section line and 
chmbed a rather steep hill, we got the fi^t 
ghmpse of our possession. At the bottom of the 
western slope of this hill we could see tJe crol 
mg of he north.nd.outh ^oad, which we knew 
to be the east boundary of our land; whill 
stretchmg straight away before us unti bst i^' 
he distant wood, lay the well-kept road whi^S 
for a good mile was our southern boundarv 
Descending the hill, we stopped at the crossing 
of the roads to take in the outline of the fa™ 
rom th,s southeast corner. The north-andsou™ 
road rau level for 150 yards, gradually rose f Jr 



16 



niE PAT OF THE LAND 



«• happy wi oMa^" tl'""''T"«'"' 
Po»ure, which incL!? V ^ * southern ex- 

•outhelst forty and M*>.'5^^'''°"'^'"^' "' ^'"' 
balance of tW^'f^ and ^^ '"'^''"'^ '"' *h« 
of it. There wi In 7l ,' '°'*^ '^'"« ""'"th 
trees on thT sou^h!" ?^"'" ^""«« °' ^°'««'t 

was pleased with the view ^ ««^ 'ha* Polly 

fully through the timW i *' "'^'"^ «"»««■ 
those four ifrgeSL™^'!:' ""'^ ^°™« out near 
That will Ke^L 'V'^'"«''^'"8'°"n'J- 
will give me fSnee a"t ."?^ """*«'"^' '"^'^ 
-hich I an. Just acEg ttM;".?"*^^ «-'^-"«. 

ha^d^MfK'.'*''' ^' ":^°" «hall have a free 
land' and LhordluT' ^^^^^^^^-^ ot o" 
other plans '' '""^^'^'''^^ ''<'^°'« ^e make 

Ml:ttfon:e:tr'' "^ ^^^ •°*«''* «p- the 

pertained tHS pl ce'^J'^d' '"'^.''"'"^ ''^^^ 
years for the senso of \ l.-'^*''"'^ ^ "»°y 
I could hard y"ea iz^ thTt'^^^ °^ '-d that 

d«am from which I wol '' ""'^ ""' '"°*^'' 
by something real I w- ^^° ^ awakened 



THE FIB8T VISIT TO THB FABM 17 

the pasture lands were too well seeded to dock, 
milkweed, and wild mustard to be attractive 
and the fences were cheap and much broken. 
The woodland near the western limit proved 

be practically a virgin forest, in which oak 
trees predominated. The undergrowth waa 
dense, except near the road ; it was chiefly hazel, 
white thorn dogwood, young cherry, and sec- 
ond growth hickory and oak. We turned the 
corner and followed the woods for half a mile to 
where a barbed wire fence separated our forest 
from the woodland adjoining it. Coming back 
to the starting-point we turned north and slowly 
climbed the hill to the east of our home lot, 
silently developing plans. We drove the full 
hal^f^mile of our eastern boundary before turning 

1 looked with special interest at the orchard, 
which was on the northeast forty. I had seen 
It on my first visit, but had given it little atten- 
tion, noting merely that the trees were well 
grown I now counted the rows, and found 
that there were twelve; the trees in each row 
had originally been twenty, and as these trees 
were about thirty-five feet apart, it was easy to 
estimate that six acres had been given to this 
orchard. The vicissitudes of seventeen years had 
not been without effect, and there were irregular 
gaps in the rows, — here a sick tree, there a dead 
one. A areless estimate placed these casualties 
at fifty-five or sixty, which I later found was 



18 



THS FAT OF THE LAND 



nearly correct. This left i an . 

*nd in .pita of the gM?lr, '" '«"• h««'th, 

were well covered with vm.n / P ""'"«' "'^^ 
b«en headed h.Vh i„ fh "^i?"' '^'"'J' ^ad 

-hich™adet.ritor:'t;:'r'^-^. 

than a .nodern orchard They had ^^ *'"'"'' 

«en^°'„trrrftr'^\"-'^'-'^ 

rooms-sitting room dini'l^ containing six 
a bedroom openingoff et h '"''•T' '*''^'^^"' ""^ 
in the rear, and f,m« T '^'"^ * '«*"-'° ^''ed 

andout-buiiCrt ga7el'«°"^ '*™^ «''«''^. 
caring how thef looked Th, """T'"" °^ "°' 
better. It was south !7»u '*''°"'' «''°"P was 

^or^-a„d;rrrr:ar'^°-''«^- 

SabTerrX:;j,n:r.^™-h^^^^^ hang its 

to cover its boldn^JTTL""''''^'''^ 
better, and give „eall \'^°"''^ '°°'' "'"•ch 

if it were mVr:zT::: Titit:? ■■""■^^^^ 

a house, even thoii„i. „ ^ u 'eadmg up to 

addsdi^nit/ald^Srrce'rf:; " "^" '''''' 
proportion to its waste or ^ ' °"* °^ «» 

nothing that wouJ! u P""'^' ^ ''"ow of 

cation !f the lultrt'r """""t *° *'« ^««"tifi- 

hibiting houses and trfwHhi '.!""f '""^ P""" 

of a public road. A 13., " "".'^'"'^ ^"'•'^^ 

flanked by a red bat ?^' ?^""« ^rm-house, 

y red barn and a pigsty, all crowding 



THE «B8T VISIT 10 THE FARM » 
the public road as hard a» the path-master will 
permit, is Incongruous and unsightly W 1. J 

ouy streets? With much to n .ologize for in 

honor ? Moreover, n.any things which take place 

.s b t foTe '"" ""^'-"'"-"^ ^om distance' 
IS best to leave some scope for the imagination 
of the passer-by. These and other thin^ S 
change as farmers' lives grow more grac oS Tnd 
more^attention is given to beautify^ngrunrr? 

The house, whose gables looked up and down 
the street, was two stories in height, twentyfive 
feet by forty in the main, with 'a ;ne story el 
running back. Without doubt there was a pilo 
s'ttng room, and four chambers in the maifwith' 
dinmg room and kitchen ii. the rll ' 

put u'?n"thl'° U ''r '^''^ ■"""'« ''°"««." -e 

"My young lady, I propose to be the -head 

cXlVZtT.' ""' ' "•^'^ '' spelled withi 
capital H, but I do not expect to live in that 
house. It will do first-rate for the farmer and 

^'brtT-r;^^^ p'^^^-^ '' -»>-"' 

wHh ;;■„?' "'^"'^ ^° ^'^^ '""- b'« house 

mLT'^^ not disagree about that, Mr. Head- 

The barns were fairly good, but badly 



» THE PAT OP THE LAND 

placed. They were not worth the expense of 
moving, so I decided to let them stand as they 
were until we could build better ones, and then 
tear them down. 

We drove in through a clump of trees behind 
the farm-house, and pushed on about three hun- 
dred yards to the crest of the knoll. Here we 
got out of the carriage and looked about, with 
keen mterest, in every direction. The views 
were wide toward three points of the compass. 
North and northwest we could see pleasant lands 
for at least two miles; directly west, our eyes 
could not reach beyond our own forest; to the 
south and southwest, fruitful valleys stretched 
away to a range of wooded hills four miles dis- 
tant ; but on the east our view was limited by 
the fnnge of woods which lay between us and 
the north-and-south road. 

"This is the exact spot for the house," said 
i'olly. « It must face to the south, with a broad 
piazza, and the chief entrance must be on the 
east. The kitchens and fussy things will be out 
of sight on the northwest corner; two stories, a 
high attic with rooms, and covered all over with 
yellow-brown shingles." She had it all settled 
m a minute. 

"What will the paper on your bedroom wall 
be like ? " I asked. 

^«I know perfectly well, but I shan't tell 
Seating myself on an out-cropping boulder, I 



THE FIEST VISIT TO THE FAEM 21 

began to study th» geography of the farm. In 
™ag,nat,o„ I ..„i„,.,i a ,f ,tock, crops, build- 
ings, and fence and .saw >, as bald as the palm 
o jny hand I .. ,t.o' the tableof long measure 
Sixteen and a half feet, one rod, perch, or pole • 

E.ght t,rnes 40 ,s 320; there are 320 rods in a 
mile, but how much is 16i times 320 5- upollv 
how much is 16J times 320 ? " ^' 

« Don't bother me now ; I'm busy " 
(Just as if she could have told in her moment 
of greatest leisure!) I resorted to paper and 
pencl, and learned that there are 5280 feet in 

5280 feet long and 2640 feet wide. I must spli 
.t m some way, by a road or a lane, to make all 
parts accessible. If I divided it by two lane 
of twenty feet each, I could have on either side of 
these lanes lots 650 feet deep, and these would 

tTeeoTTr^^ ' '"•"'^ '"^^ =f ^'-- lot« 

were 660 feet long, they would contain ten acres 
minus the ten feet used for the lane. Tliis 
seemed a real discovery, as it simplified my 
calculations and relieved me of much mental 

"Polly I am going to make a map of the 
place, _ lay it out just as I want it " 

"You may leave the home forty out of 

fad" """"'' ^ ""' ^°'^ '^''' that," said the 

In my pocket I found three envelopes some- 



(I 



» THE FAT OF THE LAND 

what the worse for wear. This is how one of 
them looked when my map was finished. 




bnJ T m f P'^'^"y I'^ughty about this map, 
but at se tied a matter which had been chaotic 
m my mind. My plan was to make the farm 
Liter/"' '° '"^""^ *^« ^'"'^k within a" 
he^ H /r? ^' '"'*' consistent with good 
health and to feed cultivated forage and cfops 
n drawmg my „,ap, the forty which PoHy 
had segregated left the northeast forty stand 
•ng alone, and I had to cast about for some 
good way of treating it. «Make it your 7eZ 

ptns "^ ""^^ '""''^ '° gi°"fy "^y 

.J^V'^f'"'^ '"' °^ ^"'■'y ^^--^^ ■■« a" high land 
naturally drained. It was near the obvious buS 
'ng line, and it seemed suitable in every way I 

andTpfrK , ^^'' '"^""'y ^ ^^^"^^^ t° cows 
and their belongmgs; the west twenty was dl- 



THE FIRST VISIT TO THE FABM 23 

three for hogs. ''""' ^"^ ""e other 

Looking around for Pollv tn ^h^ u 
work, I found <ih^ i,„J J^ ^ ^'"''^ '^e'" my 

JlLdre ?"''''' "^^" ^-"-= have you 
. "I have not," she said. «Mine i, .f 
importance than all of yours • I wil '"°''' 

a sketch this evening. Th ' bu ^ ^'"'V" 
better than I thought H^ , "^"""^^ '« 

suppose there is? » """ '""'''' "^ '^ do you 

of wild-flower seed t?r T" '"' '"^"'^^^ » 1°^ 
the farm." '^ ^' ^°^*^<^ "^^^ ^'•e rest of 

resl!;"th:i£7jl-* -d«you like on the 

Do you knotTo'w ,on«ir '"" T"^ ^°"^- 
them. Notsine;V;:fa^Hrr^h-had 

ioo;.thrr:sj-if^^^oudon;t 

have asters and goldenrod'and b£"eved°S '" 
to your heart's content if you wni^^f \"' 
young" ' " '^"* always be 



as 



of 



2* THK FAX OF THE LAND 

We tried succeeded, and then started for 
home. Neither of us had much to say on the 

nrlr '^' I? °"' ™'"^' ^^^« ^"» °f ""solved 

*tLhr^:r^°"-^°-^^-^^^^ 




CHAPTER IV 

THE HIKED MAN 

I detemined that L '°,''''' '* ^"^ ""y^^'^- 

should find Tn me a on T ""''^ "^"'^"'^ ^°'- «>« 
look after ;her n ^ sTf "\° ^'^"'^ 
neighborly fashion They sLoir^r,'!' ^""^ 
and well fed and «J,. i7,, ''^ ^^11 housed 

magazines, and books anH » . ' P'^P*'^ 
in which to read t iem Th T"""'""^ '•°°™ 
able work hou,^ a„Th J 7 '''''"^'' '''^ '^^«°''- 
abundant baSglt,-, SL" L""""^' ^"'^ 
Four Oaksshould prolim k "?• '!"^^'''"« «' 
From the men I expec d H .'^"^ ^ "^ '"''°'- 
uniform kindnecVfr^r ^ cleanhness, sobriety, 

wag s. These den, \^'^P°^'"°" *« save their 
aH?, and I made "„ "?'' '° »"« -««°n- 
^f I i^ad t J trythL'^eTr '' '''''' *° '^^ 

25 



26 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



II) 



! i 






I '■ 



ri tn .t'^'P^ '"'• '°""'"'^'^' I thought, was 
the.r bolts and failed of the mark; men who 
had come up from the farm hoping for easie7or 
more ambitious lives, but who had^failedToLd 
what they sought and had experienced the unrest 
uZ ^.^"^■t°-'"<'"'h ^fugSle for a living in a 
large cty ; men who were pining for the country, 

way t'o%:t t°t '"°"'"« ''' ^"^ -'- -w no 
waj to get back to it. I advertised my wants 

^n a morning paper, and asked my son, whrwas 

on vacation to, interview the applican s. FrZ 

noon „n ,1 s.x o'clock my ante-room was invaded 

by a motley procession _ delicate boys of fifteen 

who wanted to go to the country, old nfen S 

hought they could do farm work, clerks and 

janitors out of employment, typical tramps and 

hoboes who diffused very naughty smells, and 

\T^ ''"^ few -who seemed to know 

what^^they could do and what they real,; 

Jack took the names of five promising men 
and asked them to come again'the nex't dly'. 
In the morning I interviewed them, dismissed 
hr e a d .^cepted two on the condition that 
their references proved satisfactory. As these 
men are still at Four Oaks, after seven years o 
steady employment, and as I hope they will sta-^ 

know them. Much of the smooth sailing at the 



THE HIRED MAN 27 

farm is due to their personal interest, steadiness 
of purpose, and cheerful optimism 

William Thompson, forty-six years of age, tall, 
ean, w,ry, had been a farmer all his life H 
^v fe had a.ed three yea.^ befor., and a year 

cartntll h /r ^"^ "machinery and being a fair 
carpenter he then came to the city, with 1200 in 

tr iedT ' r^f "" C-P«"ter's Union, and 
tned to make a living at that trade. Between 
dull busmess, lock-outs, tie-ups, and strik s he 

liars 1 '° '''^ ''"''' '""^ °-«d tLree 

wh n hlr"".""' ^' ^- '" dead earnest 
whence threw h.s union card on my table and 

" I would rather work for fifty cents a day on 
a fa.m t an take my chances for six times a^ 
much m the union." 

This was the sort of man I wanted : one who 
had r,ed other things and was glad of a chance 
to return to the land. Thompson said that aft 
he had spent one lonesome year in the city, he 

not Tu7at ' """"'' "°""" ''^ ^-'^' -'- -- 
now out at service on account of his hard luck 

wL ::'°'f °' t '"^'^ ^°" ^^ two-and-tw^nty 
who was at work on a farm within fifty miles 

he cty I liked the man from the first, o 

ul 7Tm'Y\^ ''"''''■ ' told him to ea 
up the fifty cents he had in his pocket and to 
ee me at noon of the following day. Meantime 

1 looked up one of his references; and when he 



* THE FAT OF THE LAND 

the t3.;r';;r "" r ^ '"""''> ^- 

was to recJyemi T^'^''"^^<''°'^'^' 

-nth. an7rfr:;t^rr:;i:r.r: 

«To " Ih J""' "^ "f ^^ ^'"'"^'^ ^--"t to 

quit S ^".' T- '"'''' "* "°"'h's notice to 

quic. itiis seemed far to hnih t ■■ 

W more than »20 a ,„„„7h ?"'*'; ' r"" « 

m.„ who ha. ..g.«o°'t r„^':r.'2'™'"" 

X'n' ""'' "^ -' ^-' '""'^ Tar." 

Th. '""•''»' '«™-»"<i i. . d.l„.i„„ and a 

.( .hou„„d. o, .b,.wtrn,en"w ''„''.'„™rk' 
they will only seek it and honestly earn it. 



THE HIKED MAN ^ 

is, I believe, the hLjest tv„r f "1 '° '''•' '^"'^ 
and the surest and wf/T.°^ benevolence, 
problem. '"^''' '°'""°" "^ 'he labor 

spote'thr"'"?'"^ Thompson, I tentatively be- 
spoke the services of his wife and son Mr! 
Thompson was to come fnr«i<: "• 

Lalf-dollar raise f^rTeh lix mont. "^f' '"'^ * 
the same terms as thTfatLr ""' ''^ ^"^ "-^ 

f:^tr.— are 

Two days later I again advertised, and out of 



30 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



a number of applicants secured one man. Sam 
Jones was a sturdy-looking fellow of middle age, 
with a suspiciously red nose. He had been hro.l 
on a farm, had learned the carpenter's trade, nnd 
was especially good at taking ..are of chickens. 
His ambition was to own and run a chicken 
pant. I hired him on the s, ne terms as the 
others, but with misgivings on account of the 
florid nose. This was on the 19th or 20th of 
July, and there were still ten days before I could 
enter into possession. The men were told to 
report for duty the last day of the month. 



ri 



CHAPTER V 

BORING FOR WATER 

The water supply was the next problem I 
su?n1v'"f '" !'"" "" ''''""'^•*"' ^^'^ '=°"-«nient 

Z L° ""h""'"^ '"''"■ '" "'^ ''°"^''' '^' barns, 
and tl.e feed.ng grounds, and also on the lawn 

and gardens. I would have no carrying or haul 
n.g of water, and no lack of it. There tere f"r 
wells on the place, two of them near the houses 
and two stock wells in the lower grounds. Near 
the weH at the large house was a windmill that 
pumped water into a small tank, from which it 
was p.ped to the barn-yard and the lower story 
of the house. The supply was inadequate and 
not at all to my liking. 

My plan involved not only finding, raising 
and distributing water, but also thf ca e o^ 
waste water and sewage. Inquiring among 
those who had deep wells in the village, I found 

180 to 210 feet. As my well-site was high, I 
expected to have to bore deep. I contracted 

vvell of 250 feet (or less), piped and finished to 
the surface, for *2 a foot; any greater depth to 
be subject to furthc- agreement. 
31 



S3 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



It took nearly three months to finisli the water 
system, but it has proved wonderfully conven- 
ient and satisfaf tory. During seven years I have 
not spent more than *50 for chanKPs and repairs. 
VVe struck bed-rock at 197 feet, drilled 27 feet 
into this rock, and found water wlii(;h rose to 
within ,50 feet of the surface and which could 
not be materially lowered by the constant use of 
a three-inch power-pump. The water was milky 
while for three days, in spite of much pumping; 
and then, and ever after, it ran clear and sweet, 
with a temperature of ,54° F. Well and water 
being satisfactory, I cheerfully paid the well man 
*448 for the job. 

Meantime I contracted for a tank twelve by 
twelve feet, to be raised thirty feet above the 
well on eight timbers, each ton inches .square, 
well bolted and braced, for »4.30,_I to put in 
the foundation. This consisted of eight concrete 
piers, each five feet deep in the clay, three feet 
s(iuare, and capped at the level of the ground 
with a limestone two feet .square and eight 
inches thick. These piers were set in octagon 
form around the well, with their centres seven 
feet from the middle of the bore, making the 
spread of the framework fourteen feet at the 
ground and ten at the platform. The founda- 
tion cost 132. A Rider eight-inch, hot-air, wood- 
burning, pumping engine (with a two-inch pipe 
leading to the tank, and a four-inch pipe from 
it), filled the tank quickly ; and it was surpris- 



BORING FOR WATER ai 

in^o see how little fuel it consume.!. It cost 

I have now to confe*, to a small extravagance 
I contrucle.1 with „ curpenter to buil.l an on! 
mental tower, fif,^,ive f..,, ,,,,,,, ^'^ 

across at the buso, „„d fi,t..en feet at the ton 
«hee.e.3 an.l shinKle.l. with u series o smj,' 
wmdows i„ spiral un.l a narrow stairway Te"! 
HK to a bal,.ony that surronn.l,-.! the tower on a 
le^elu.th hetopofthetank. This tower cos^ 

?hi"rd'„f",V "■"' '"" "" "■'"'•-■"«""'•". '-anse a 
th.rd of the expense woul.l have been incurred 

LC:'"' ""' '"'"'' ■'"' ""'^"'« "'^ ^-"^ 

To distribute the water, I had three lines of 
four-mch p,pe leading fron, the tank's ou.-flow 
pipe. One of these went 2.10 feet to the house 
w.th one-,nch branches for the gardens and law . ! 
another led east 37.5 feet, past the proposed site 
o the cottage, the farm-house, the dairy, and 
"^ 'nnld.ngs ,n that direction; while the 
i.nn) aoout 400 feet long, led to the horse barn 
and the other projected buildings. From near 
the end of this west pipe a IJ-inch pipe was 
earned due north through the' centre of the 

thTfieH k' ''?""'' ^°' '^' hennery, and into 
the fields beyond. This pipe was about 700 feet 
long. Altogether I used 1100 feet of four-inch 
and about 2200 feet of sn.aller pipe, at a otal 
cost of J803. All water pipes we'e' pLced A 
feet ,n the ground to be out of the reach of frost! 



34 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



and to this day they have received no further 
attention. 

The trenches for the pipes were opened by a 
party of five Italians whom a railroad friend 
found for me. These men boarded themselves, 
slept m the barn, and did the work for seventy- 
five cents a rod, the job costing me $169. 

Opening the sewer trenches cost a little more, 
for they were as deep as those for the water, and 
a little wider. Eight hundred feet of main sewer, 
a three-hundred-foot branch to the house, and 
short branches, from barns, pens, and farm-houses, 
made m all about fourteen hundred feet, which 
cost »83 to open. The sewer ended in the stable 
yard back of the horse barn, in a ten-foot catch- 
basm near the manure pit. A few feet from this 
catch-basin was a second, and beyond this a third, 
all of the same size, with drain-pipes connecting 
them about two feet below the ground. These 
basins were closely covered at all times, and in 
winter they were protected from frost by a 
thick layer of coarse manure. They were placed 
near the site of the manure pit for convenience 
in cleaning, which had to be done every three 
months for the first one, once in six months for 
the second and rarely for the third ; indeed, the 
water flowing from the third was always clear. 
Ihis waste water was run through a drain-pipe 
diagonally across the northwest corner of the big 
orchard to an open ditch in the north lane. 
Opening this drain of forty rods cost «80. Later 



BOEING FOE WATEE 35 

I carried this closed dmin to the creek, at an ad- 
ditional expense of 167. The connect ng of the 
water pipes and the laying of the sewer was dot 
by a local plumber for $50; the drain-pipe a„d 
sewer-p.pe cost tll2; and the three catch-bals 

cost f63. The filling ,„ of all these trenches was 
done by my own men with teams and scrapZ 
and sh , .^^^ ^^.^ -raperj 

count. It must be borne in mind that while this 
elaborate water system was being insTal ed n„ 
buildings were completed and bu f^wte" 
even begun; the big house was not finished o 
more than a year. The sites of all the buildings 
had been decided on, and the farm-house and the 
cottage had been moved and remodelled, by the 
middle of October, at which date the wat;r plant 
was completed. An abundant supply of ^good 

beast' an/r'"' '"-^'^ eomfortTman'and 
beast, and the money invested in securing it will 
pay a good interest in the long run. My water 

c it mTilJr '°*°'"°"^^' '''''■' ''""•'^-i' 
cost me «10 a year since it was finished. 



CHAPTER VI 



WK TAKE POSSESSION 

My barn was full of horses, but none of them 
was fit for farm work ; so I engaged a veterinary 
surgeon to find three suitable teams. By the 
25th of the month he had succeeded, and I in- 
spected the animals and found them satisfactory, 
though not so smooth and smart-looking as I had 
pictured them. When I compared them, some- 
what unfavorably, with the teams used for city 
trucks and delivery wagons, he retorted by say- 
ing : « I did not know that you wanted to pay 
$1200 a pair for your horses. These six horses 
will cost you f 750, and they are worth it." They 
were a sturdy lot, young, well matched, not so 
large as to be unwieldy, but heavy enough for 
almost any work. The lightest was said to 
weigh 1375 pounds, and the heaviest not more 
than a hundred pounds more. Two of the teams 
were bay with a sprinkling of white feet, while 
the other pair was red roan, and, to my mind, 
the best looking. 

Four of these horses are still doing service on 
the farm, after more than seven years. One of 
the bays died in the summer of '98, and one of the 
36 



WE TAKE POSSESSION 



37 

roans broke his stifle during the f„Il„„ • • 
ter and had to be shot Th! k ^°"°^'"g ^in- 
these two pairs hJ.i\ , •'^''eaved relicts of 
«nd now wa^ sZr ! ". ''''!^'''^ '° ^«'^'> "'^^^n 
harness. I soLtS.es th V ^ '''' '" ""^'^'^ 
a difference The' ',' ^°^'"'^' '''^^ ^ ^«« 

-UwasintLVdT„?n^to°b-t"°^^"^^ 
disagreements, but also no";i;;s:nd *'""'' " 
The soft nose doesn't c / .^"^^ ^"d no caresses, 
there is no restlr "f T^ ''' T'^''''''^'^ »«°k, 
while half^losed "eye: setvlr '1""^ "'^''^- 
ninning brooks, and kn eTeeri" ""' '*''"'^^' 
urgent whinne; which caltd'^ '""' ""'^ t'^^ 
and told of loneliness when ' '" '^' "'^er 

heard. It is particl^STa ^^ '"^"^'^ 
creatures have been robbed of ^^ '' ^°°^ 
which gave color to tl^ tes ,nd lift H T' 
above the drearv fr»<. i -i, 7 ""®d them 

sake. The Sv T "".'"u °^ ^"'^ ^"'- duty's 

yoke.fellowisl?thfo';f''P °' ^^^ ^^ ^i^ 
ionship, which will . ^^'"Pathetic compan- 

coolin^re;i.r:nrbS:2r"/'' 
pastures of the good horselh. '^"^e-deep 

A horse is wonderf Hv ! ! '" "'"' '■'^'^''«'^- 
''f his size and stre ^'^ ^:T:dZ T ^"™^' 
and his courage comes only frl^'^";'"" 
m man. His sne^H cf ■^,J'^°'° "is confidence 
will willing^ gfve ' , '"^'^ '""^ -''"ranee he 
the hand that Zh ^'"" '' *° "'« "*'«<'«*. if 
the voice that^^nf ? '"'"""^ ""'^ e-"«. and 

friendly La5 of f„ '' '*■"' •=°"«'*-*' -"d 
y J^ack of courage in the master takes 



38 THE FAT OF THE LAND 

from the horse his only chance of being brave ; 
lack of steadiness makes him indirect and futile ; 
lack of kindness frightens him into actions which 
are the result of terror at first, and which be- 
come vices only by mismanagement. By nature 
the horse is good. If he learns bad manners by 
associating with bad men, we ought to lay the 
blame where it belongs. A kind master will 
make a kind horse ; and I have no respect for a 
man wh. has had the privilege of training a 
horse from colt-hood and has failed to turn out 
a good one. Lack of good sense, or cruelty, is 
at the root of these failures. One can forgive 
lack of sense, for men are as God made them ; 
but there is no forgiveness for the cruel : cooling 
shades and running brooks will not be prominent 
features in their ultimate landscapes. 

For harness and farm equipments, tools and 
machinery, I went tc a reliable firm which made 
most and handled the rest of the things that make 
a well-equipped farm. It is best to do much of 
one's business through one house, provided, of 
course, that the house is dependable. You be- 
come a valued customer whom it is important to 
please, you receive discounts, rebates, and conces- 
sions that are worth something, and a community 
of interest grows up that is worth much. 

My first order to this house was for three 
heavy wagons with four-inch tires, three sets of 
heavy harness, two ploughs and a subsoiler, three 
harrows (disk, spring tooth, and flat), a steel land- 



WE TAKE POSSESSION 



39 



roller, two wheelbarrows, an iron scraper, fly nets 
and other stable equipment, shovels, spades, hay 
forks, posthole 'ools, a hand seeder, a chest of 
tools, stock-pails, milk-pails and pans, axes 
hatchets, saws of various kinds, a maul and 
wedges, six kegs of nails, and three lanterns 
The total amount was 1488 ; but as I received 
five per cent discount, I paid only $464. The 
?oods, except the wagons and harnesses, were to 
go by freight to Exeter. Polly v, to buy the 
necessary furnishings for the men. house, the 
only stipulation I made being that the beds 
should be good enough for me to sleep in. On 
the 25th of July she showed me a list of the 
things which she had purchased. It seemed in- 
termmable; but she assured me that she had 
bought nothing unnecessary, and that she had 
been very careful in all her purchases. As I 
knew that Polly was in the habit of getting the 
worth of her money, I paid the bills without 
more ado. The list footed up to «495. 

Most of the housekeeping things were to be 
delivered at the station in Exeter; the rest were 
to go on the wagons. On the afternoon of the 
80th the wagons and harnesses were sent to 
the stable where the horses had been kept, and the 
articles to go in these wagons were loaded for an 
early start the following morning. The distance 
from the station in the city to the station at 
Exeter is thirty miles, but the stable is three 
miles from the city station, the farm two and a 



40 



THE FAT OF THE LAKD 



half miles from Exeter station, and the wagon 
road not so direct as the railroad. The trip to 
the farm, therefore, could not be much less than 
forty miles, and would require the best part of 
two days. The three men whom I had engaged 
reported for duty, as also did Thompson's son, 
whom we are to know hereafter as Zeb. 

Early on the last day of the month the men 
and teams were off, with cooked provisions for 
three days. They were to break the journey 
tweuty.five miles out, and expected to reach the 
farm the next afternoon. Polly and I wished to 
see them arrive, so we took the train at 1 pm 
August 1st, and reached Four Oaks at 2.30, tak- 
ing with us Mrs. Thompson, who was to cook 
for the men. 

Before starting I had telephoned a local car- 
penter to meet me, and to bring a mason if pos- 
sible. I found both men on the ground, and 
explained to them that th«re would be abundant 
work in their lines on the place for the next year 
or two, that I was perfectly willing to pay a 
reasonable profit on each job, but that I did not 
propose to make them rich out of any single 
contract. 

The first thing to do, I told them, was to 
move the large farm-house to the site already 
chosen, about two hundred yards distant, enlarge 
U, and put a first-class cellar under the whole 
The principal change needed in the house was an 
additional story on the ell, which would give a 



"WE TAKE POSSESSION 



41 

chamber eighteen by twenty^ix, with closets five 
feet deep, to be used as a sleepmg room for the 
men I mtended to change the sitting room 
which ran across the main house, into a dining and 
readmg room twenty feet by twenty-five, and to 
improve the shape and convenience of the kitchen 
by pantry and lavatory. There must also be a 
well-appointed bathroom on the upper floor and 
set tubs in the kitchen. My men would dig the 
cellar, and the mason was to put in the founda- 
tion walls (twelve inches thick and two feet 
above ground), the cross or division walls, and the 

tTT;^ ^'' "''° '" p"* '^°^" ^ fi'-«K=iass 

cement floor over the whole cellar and ap- 
proach. The house was to be heated by a hot- 
water system; and I afterward let this job to 
«500 man, who put in a satisfactory plant for 

We had hardly finished with the carpenter 
and the niason when we saw our wagons turn- 
ing into the grounds. We left the contractors 
to their measurements, plans, and figures, while 
we hastened to turn the teams back, as they 
must go to the cottage on the north forty. The 
horses looked a little done up by the heat and 
the unaccustomed journey, but Thompson said: 
"Ihey re all right, — stood it first-rate " 

The cottage and out-buildings furnished scanty 
accommodations for men and beasts, but they 
were all that we could provide. I told the men 
to make themselves and the horses as comfort- 



« THE FAT OF THE LAND 

£h r ^^ '''"■'^' ^'''" *° '""'^ ">e cows and 
feed the hogs, and call it a day. 

While the others were unloading and eettinc 

talk. "Thompson," I said, "you are to have 
the oversight of the work here for th, present 

plan. This experiment at farming is to last 
yea«. We won't look for results until we are 
ready to force them, but we are to get reldy Is 

tTdoThr''^" '" l'^ "^^""'"^' - -•» '^a- 
to do things m an awkward fashion, and not al- 
ways .or immediate effect. We must build the 
factory before we can turn out the finished prod- 
uct The cows for instance, must be cared for 

Half Z%r f ?"'' °^ '^'^"^ *° advantage. 
Half of them, I fancy, are 'robber cows,' not 
worth their keep (if it costs anything to' feed 
them), and we will certainly not winter them. 
Keep your eye on the herd, and be able to tell 
f^llv /7 ''!"" ^"^ P"^- Milk them care- 
ifhf. "? ""'^^ '""^' °'«^™' ««d butter you 
can but don't waste useful time carting milk to 
market feed it to the hogs rather, if a f^m ^ 
or a milkman will call for it, sell what you hTve 

withT ''^\r''%^^ -» give, and ha've done 
with It quickly You are to manage the hogs 
on the same principle. Fatten those which are 
ready for it, with anything you find on the place 
We will get rid of the whole bunch as soon as 
possible. You see, I must first clear the ground 



WE TAKE POSSESSION 



48 



before I can build my factory. Let the hens 
alone for the present ; you can eat them during 
the winter. 

"Now, about the crops. The hay in bams 
and stacks is all right ; the wheat is ready for 
threshing, but it can wait until the oats are also 
ready ; the corn is weedy, but it is too late to 
help it, and the potatoes are probably covered 
with bugs. I will send out to-morrow some 
Paris green and a couple of blow-guns. There 
is not much real farm work to do just now, and 
you will have time for other things. The first 
and most important thing is to dig a cellar to 
put your house over; your comfort depends on 
that. Get the men and horses with plough and 
scraper out as early as you can to-morrow morn- 
ing, and hustle. You have nothing to do but 
dig a big hole seven feet deep inside these lines. 
I count on you to keep things moving, and I will 
be out the day after to-morrow." 

The mason had finished his estimate, which 
was «560. After some explanations, I concluded 
that it was a fair price, and agreed to it, pro- 
vided the work could be done promptly. The 
carpenter was not ready to give me figures ; he 
said, however, that he could get a man to move 
the house for $120, and that he would send me 
by mail that night an itemized estimate of costs, 
and also one from a plumber. This seemed like 
doing a lot of things in one afternoon, so Polly 
and I started for town content. 



*« THE JFAT OP THE LAND 

inH'^i "'\^°"^' "'"'t they can have good food 
and clean beds. They have all outdoors to 

^'" nVr 1 ' '° "°* "^ ^'"'* more one J; 
aj^^on a fin. August evening, do you, Mr. Head- 

I could think of a few things, but I did not 

ItHftv ' '°^ '^.."^^ "°^^^ recalled tm 
-cenes of my early life on a backwoods farm- 

he log cabin with hardly ten nails in it, tl" 
latch.str.ng, the wide-mouthed stone^and^t ck 
chimney, the spring-house with its deep crocks 

he smoke-house made of a hollow ^gum°tree 
log, the ladder to the loft where I shT Ti 
where the snows would drift ont: wThL" 
the rifts m the split clapboards that roofed me 
tha" vesr;'"'"'' '°-'^' "^^ - much betfe 



CHAPTER VII 

THE HORSE-AND-BCaOY MAir 

August 8 found me at Four Oaks in the early 
afternoon A great hollow had been dug for the 
cellar, and Thompson said that it would take 
but one more full day to finish it. Piles of 
material gave evidence that the mason was alert 
and the house-mover had already dropped his 
ong timbers, winch, and chains by the side of 
the farm-house. 

While I was discussing matters with Thomp- 
son, a smart trap turned into the lot, and a well- 
set-up young man sprang out of the stylish run- 
about and said, 

««Dr. Williams, I hear you want more help on 
your farm." ^ 

"I can use another man or two to advantage. 
If they are good ones." 

« Well, I don't want to brag, but I guess I am 
a good one, all right. I ain't afraid of work, and 
there isn't much that I can't do on a farm. What 
wages do you pay ? " 

I told him my plan of an increasing wage 
scale, and he did not object. «That includes 
horse keep, I suppose ? " said he. 

16 



« THE FAT OF THE LAUD 

kJp;»° "°* •'""^ ^''*' y°" mean by .hor« 
" Why, most of the men on farms around here 

and holidays and we expect the'boi to keep 

ntheT T^""^'"^'-* It is about the bcs? 
m he township ; cost me 1280 ..r the outf.t." 

men ^f f"^' ^"""^^ """'' '^'" *« ^"'"''er speci- 
men of farm econovic-s, and it is one of the 
worst m the lot. Let me do a small example L 

ertv i! , \ '^^ r""'^ depreciation of your prop- 
.•nianH ■""t"''' '' *' '•'"«' «^«; I'orse-shoe- 

"Sl keenT'"'.*'"' ]°" °' "^««« ^'''^ "° •"«» 
W8. In addition to this, you will be tempted 
to spend at least 95 a month more with a ho«e 
than without one; that is $60 more. You a"e 
throwing away |182 every year without adding 

diZjZ "' 'V ^^P'^^-'One ounce of 
dignity to your employment, or one foot of gain 
in your social position, no matter from wj^^ 
point you view it. ^ 

a 'Z^flj '* ^°' ^'^"*'*^ ^^""^ y°" receive 125 
.s Tdm Uit "r' '""I!'' "' '•^^ y«^' («"<! this 

ialf on tT.^ ^r T*"^' ^°"""^^« ™°- than 
half on that blessed rig, and you can make no 

pr vision or the future, for sickness, or for dd 

age. No, I will not keep your horse, nor will I 

employ any man whose scheme of life doesn't run 

further than the ownership of a horse and buggy " 



THE HORSE-AKDuBUGOY MAN 47 

« But a fellow must keep up with the proces- 
won ; he must have some recreation, and all the 
men around here have rigs." 

"Not around Four Oaks. Recreation is all 

right, but find it m ways less expensive. Read 

study, cultivate the best of your kind, plan for 

the future and save for it, and you will not lack 

for recreation. Sell your horse and buggy for 

1200, if you cannot get more, put the money at 

mterest, save #200 out of your wages, and by the 

end of the year you will be worth over «400 in 

hard cash and much more in self-respect. You 

can easily add *200 a year to your savings, with- 

out missing anything worth wliile ; and it will 

not be long before you can buy a farm, marry a 

wife, and make an independent position. I will 

have no horse-and-buggy men on my farm. It's 

up to you." 

"By Jove! I believe you may be right. It 
looks like a square deal, and I'll play it, if you'll 
give me time to sell the outfit." 

" All right, come when you can. I'll find the 
work." 

That day being Saturday, I told Thompson that 
I would come out early Monday morning, bring- 
ing with me a rough map of the place as I had 
planned it, and we would go over it with a chain 
and drive some outlining stakes. I then returned 
to Exeter, found the carpenter and the plumber, 
and accepted their estimates, — 1630 and *325 
respectively. The farm-house moved, finished,' 



« THE FAT OF THE LAND 

furnished, and heated, but not painted or papered 
would cost 12630 Paintino. V. • P^P®'^®'", 
shades, and odds .ZZTco7iS' ::':'''''■ 
tot.1 of ,2905 It proved': ^d ZtZttVr 

the men and women who afterward occupied Yt 
It has certamly been appreciated by its occu 
pants, and few have left it without regret We 
have always tried to make it an object lesson of 
dean,., , cheerfulness, and I don't tZk a 

bettered. It Aeemed a good deal of money to 
put on an old farm-house for farm-hands but 

OaLT .T "' '^' "^'^ investments at Four 
Oaks, for n kept the men contented and cheeVfd 



i.»-«i.Vf*»^» fc,» 



CHAPTER VIII 

WE PLAT THE FAEM 

Ox Monday I was out by ten o'clock, armed 
with a surveyor's chain. Thompson had pro- 
vided a lot of stakes, and we ran the lines, more 
or less st-'.,ight, in general accord with my sketch 
plan. We walked, measured, estimated, and 
drove stakes until noon. At one o'clock we 
were at it again, and by four I was fit to drop 
from fatigue. Farm work was new to me, and 
I was soft as soft. I had, however, got the 
general lay of the land, and could, by the help 
of the plan, UUk of its future subdivisions 
by numerals, — an arrangement that afterward 
proved definite and convenient. We adjourned 
to the shade of the big black oak on the knoll 
and discussed the work in hand. ' 

"You cannot finish the cellar before to-morrow 
night," I said, "because it grows slower as it 
grows deeper; but that will be doing well 
enough. I want you to start two teams plough- 
ing Wednesday morning, and keep them going 
every day until the frost stops them. Let Sam 
take the plough, and have young Thompson 
follow with the subsoiler. Have them stick to 

> 49 



50 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



ThL"' f"'"'" '"' """' ' ^^" '^--^ off. 

tryalfalfajn that grounl'L'j.hValTt' ? 

b ffr, "^'^ '* "'" '^^ -«"' -"' the soil Is 
be fitted as well as possible. After it has had 

harrow, then have it rolled, disk it again and 
then use the flat harrow until it feels as^2 like 
an ash heap as time will permit. We m^st Let 
the seed in before September » ^ 

"We will need another team if you keen 

but you shall have it. We must not stop the 
plough, for anything. Numbers 10, 11, 4 1 2 

nl ' 1; Tt !?'"'='' "^ *•>« ^°^^ lot, ougLt o be 
ploughed before snow flies Tl.nf \v, ^ 

160 acrpq «n ^j 7 ; '' '"®^"s *bout 

iw acres, — 80 odd days of steady work for the 

Ploug „„en and horses. You will probabfy find 

t best to change teams from time to time A 

httle variety will make it easier for th m As 

nTo"th" tr^ ' "" ''"■^''«'^' *"- the ptugt 
nto the 40 acres which make lots 1 to 5 111 

that must be seeded to pasture grass, for it wi 

s%rdrEh;.^'--"^--witr';; 

« We must have more help, by the way That 

oomeTnd l"''^, 7^' '"'^°"' '^ almost'^sur! to 
come, and I will find another. Some of you wiU 



WE PLAT THE FARM 



61 



have to bunk in the hay for the present, for I am 
going to send out a woman to help your wife. 
Six men can do a lot of work, but there is a 
tremendous lot of work to do. We must fit the 
ground and plant at least three thousand apple 
trees before the end of November, and we ought to 
fence this whole plantation. Speaking of fences 
reminds me that I must order the cedar posts. 
Have you any idea how many posts it will take to 
fence this farm as we have platted it ? I suppose 
not. Well, I can tell you. Twenty-two hundred 
and fifty at one rod apart, or 1850 at twenty feet 
apart. These posts must be six feet above and 
three feet below ground. They will cost eighteen 
cents each. That item will be $333, for there 
are seven miles of fence, including the line fence 
between me and my north neighbor. I am going 
to build that fence myself, and then I shall know 
whose fault it is if his stock breaks through. Of 
course some of the old posts are good, but I don't 
believe one in twenty is long enough for my 
purpose." 

« What do you buy cedar posts for, when you 
have enough better ones on the place?" asked 
Thompson. 

" I don't know what you mean." 

"Well, down in the wood yonder there's 
enough dead white oak, standing or on the 
ground, to make three thousand, nine-foot posts, 
and one seasoned white oak will outlast two 
cedars, and it is twice as strong." 



62 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



« Well, that's good I How much will it cost 
10 get them out ? " 

« About five cents apiece. A couple of smart 
fellows can make good wages at that price." 

"Good. We will save thirteen cents each. 
They will cost $93 instead of «333. I don't 
know everything yet, do I, Thompson ? " 

" You learn easy, I reckon." 

"Keep your eyes and ears open, and if you 
find any one who can do this job, let him have 
it, for we are goii.g to be too busy with other 
things at present. It's time for me to be off. I 
cannot be out again till Thursday, for I must 
find a man, a woman, and a team of horses and 
all that goes with them. I'll see you on the 8th 
at any rate." 

I was dead tired when I reached home ; but 
there wasn't a grain of depression in my fatigue, 
— rather a sense of elation. I felt that for the 
first time in thirty years real things were doing 
and I was having a hand in them. The fatigue 
was the same old tire that used to come after a 
hard day on my father's farm, and the sense was 
so suggestive of youth that I could not help feel- 
ing younger. I have never gotten away from the 
faith that the real seed of life lies hidden in the 
soil ; that the man who gives it a chance to 
germinate is a benefactor, and that things done 
in connection with land are about the only real 
things. I have grown younger, stronger, happier, 
with each year of personal contact with the soil 



I 



WE PLAT THE FARM 



63 



I am thankful for seven years of it, and look for- 
ward to twice seven more. I have lost the soft- 
ness which nearly wilted me that 5th day of 
August, and with the softness has gone twenty 
or thirty pounds of useless flesh. I am hard, 
active, and strong for a man of sixty, and I can 
do a fair day's work. To tell the truth, I prefer 
the moderate work that falls to the lot of the 
Headman, rather than the more strenuous life of 
the husbandman; but I find an infinite deal 
to thank the farm for in health and physical 
comfort 




O^^-^yt 



3 



O 



l^M^'i^-^ y^ 



CHAPTER IX 

HOUSBOLEANINQ 

Aftee dinner I telephoned the veterinary sur- 
geon that I wanted another team. He replSZ 
he bought he knew of one that would suh and 
hat he would let me know the next day i also 
telephoned two « want ads." to a mornfng paper 
one for an experienced farm-hand, the ofher for 
a woman to do general housework In the cou't J 
Polly was to interview the women who applied 

^"tiratrmr^"™- '^^^ 

I ZlLf^'^^^^T ^'>° *PP"«d the next day 
I accepted a Swede by the name of Anderson 

He dTd not fi ''"^' "*"' *^''^' -"^ ™" 
Inl H r^ * "^ '"^'^ °^ ^ stockman, but he 
looked hke a worker, and as I could furnish the 
work we soon came to terms. 

A few words more about Anderson. He 

appetite for work and never knew when to quit. 

ete7inTh '°'"''' '' '""^ ^^™' ^^ ^e was'too 
eager m the mornmg to start and too loath in 
the evenmg to stop. His unbridled passion for 
work was a thing to be deplored, as tt kept him 

64 



HOUSE-CLEANING 55 

thin and nervous. I tried to moderate this pro- 
pensity, but with no result. Anderson could not 
be trusted with horses, or, indeed, with animals 
of any kind, for he made them as nervous as 
himself; but in all other kinds of work he was 
the best man ever at Four Oaks. He worked 
for me nearly three years, and then suddenly gave 
out from a pain in his left chest and shortness 
of breath. I called a physician for poor Ander- 
son, and the diagnosis was dilatation of the heart 
from over-exercise. 

"A rare disease among farm-hands. Dr. Wil- 
liams," said Dr. High, but my conscience did not 
fully forgive me. I asked Anderson to stay at 
the farm and see what could be done by rest 
and care. He declined this, as well as my offer 
to send him to a hospital. He expressed the 
liveliest gratitude for kindnesses received and 
others offered, but he said he must be indepen- 
dent and free. He had nearly «1200 in a sav- 
ings bank in the city, and he proposed to use it 
or such portion of it as was necessary. I saw 
him two months later. He was better, but not 
able to work. Hearing nothing from him for 
three years, a year ago I called at the bank 
where I knew he had kept his savings. They 
had sent sums of money to him, once to Rio 
Janeiro and once to Cape Town. For two years 
he had not been heard from. Whether he is liv- 
ing or dead I do not know. I only know that 
a valuable man and a unique farm-hand has dis- 



M 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



That same day I telephoned the Agricultural 
Implement Company to send me anoth'e wa^' 
with harness and equipment for the team The' 
vetennary surgeon reported that he had a span 
of mares for me to look at h„t T . ^ 

wofK giri lor the country. Sim h«A =„ 
women who wished to do aTothet kinds"':; 
"^"'^'l^' none to fit her wants. °^ 

the'VYatrwe^dSbedT 'iV'' '""'^ ^^"^ 
to change our pUfo^ lifel" f t^X^S 
notions ? " she asked Personal 

wlwrn'f r^' ^""^ P»^' finding out. 

b^UeTluc'k:'' '" ^""''" '^'^•' -'^ P-l»aPs have 

team''T;f^:^ ''•'''''' ^ -«"^ t° ««e the nt 
team. I f, .,nd a pair of flea-bitten gray FlemLh 

pound's "?S r '"T ^--'^-^'t'huS 

anTitg o?2dri:XkTfit %r -' '-^ 

Pa^ed them soun^d. and SdletusLtTrm" 



HOUSE-CLEANING gj 

well worth the price asked.—JSOO. I was pleased 
with the team, and remembered a remark I had 
heard as a boy from an itinerant Methodist min- 
ister at a time when the itinerant minister was 
supposed to know all there was to know about 
horse-flesh. This was his remark : « There was 
never a flea-bitten mare that was a poor horse " 
In spite of its ambiguity, the saying made an 
impression from which I never recovered. I al- 
ways expected great things from flea-bitten grays. 
The team, wagon, harness, etc., added «895 to 
the debit account against the farm. Polly se- 
cured her girl,— a green German who had not 
been long enough in America to despise the 
country. 

« She doesn't know a thing about our ways " 
said Polly, "but Mrs. Thompson can train her 
as she hkes. If you can spend time enough with 
green girls, they are apt to grow to your liking " 

On Thursday I saw Anderson and the new 
team safely started for the farm. Then Polly 
the new girl, and I took train for the most inter- 
esting spot on earth. 

Soon after we arrived I lost sight of Polly 
who seemed to have business of her own. I 
found the mason and his men at work on the 
cellar wall, which was almost to the top of the 
ground. The house was on wheels, and had made 
most of its journey. The house mover was in a 
rage becau.se he had to put the house on a hole 
instead of on solid ground, as he had expected 



" THE FAT OF THE LAND 

holo • thi.«.'. „ .*^ '" "°"s« over that 

""- ' ^"^re s no monev n th!« ink » 

placed, and by SatSay i^tt 7""^'^'^ 
walls were finished foundation 

th ';Tough1„g^ thele"^'" " ^"-"^ ^"^""-^ o" 

I' ugiimg, the teams were doing well f«, 

green ones «nrl «v.» _ ""uig weii for 

what good'XX mernr^'rr ""'^""^"^ 
Johnson had snenf nn » ; ^'"""P^on and 

potato PatirdladT11ir:itlTh \ ''' 
" We've rl«n„ * ^-u'lnict with the bugs. 

P»™d Win b, M„nd.y ■' *° ""' "" 

were to be snugly pSd h! ^"'^ '"'"''^' 

aim leave it as bare as your hand" T f„ij 
Thompson. .<It must be ready for tt n, k 
as soon as possible." ^ ^''^ P'""^'* 



HOUSE-CLEANING 59 

Judson, the man with the buggy, reported at 
noon. He came with bag and baggage, but not 
with buggy, and said tliat he came to stay. 

« Thompson," said 1, « you are to put Judson 
in charge of the roan team to follow the boys 
when they are far enough aliead of him. In the 
meantime he and the team will be with you and 
Johnson in this house-cleaning. By to-morrow 
night Anderson and the new team will get in, 
and they, too, will help on this job. I want you 

to take personal charge of the gray team, 

neither Johnson nor Anderson la the right sort 
to handle horses. The new icnm will do the 
trucking about and the regular farm work, while 
the other three are kept steadily at the ploughs 
and harrows." 

The cleaning of the north forty proved a long 
job. Four men and two teams worked hard for 
ten days, and then it was not finished. By that 
time the ploughmen had finished 6 and 7, and 
were ready to begin on No. 1. Judson, with 
the roans and harrows, was sent to the twenty 
acres of ploughed ground, and Zeb and his team 
were put at the cleaning for three days, while 
Sam ploughed the six acres of old orchard with 
a thaUow-set plough. The feeding roots of these 
trees would have been seriously injured if we had 
followed the deep ploughing practised in the 
open. By August 24 about two hundred loads 
of manure from the barn-yards, the accumulation 
of years, had been spread under the apple trees, 



» THE FAT OF THE LAND 

and I felt sure it was well be«t^«,»j \t 

of my time at Four Oak,. nfTI • '^""^ "'"^'' 

and never let -l^ ?ht\l^rda^s';r ^lihtft' 

spending some Jiours on the fam T 

^y fnends thi. seeded a ^rof tf^The;' 

indt'cTr„?urrf '7h^ *'"■"«• -''»'-' ^^- 

every tan To "^^hl t^'"" " "'^ P^^ilege of 
Professri pLdedUXt"^'*'^"".^ '"^ 
had dismissed me wHhou^^ u^ '"■°^''^'°" 
"By your leave" ^ '^°"* ^ """ch as saying 

modVof";; e Id lehrt: b'^' 'r'^''^ ">' 

than a consumer of fK * Producer rather 

I was coZv-;" t'^S^'T'-' '' °'''-- 
and at the same Se g^tLlT"/ ™^ t''*'' 
had long possessed me ^™t 7'"« * ^^^"^ ^hich 
to make nJrTert tr;e J. '? "''"•" »P°'°«y 
and as a famiir^e ^a.T j htHhier"ta '"^'^ 

= rh^r :;er J- -^^^^ 

«ayingmuch. '"'' ^"* '" '''^ "'3^' ""d that is 



CHAPTER X 



FENCED IN 



On the 26th, when I n-ached the station at 
Exeter, I found Thompson an I ',hp, ,;niy team 
just starting for the fann with Mp seoonci load 
of wire fencing. I had orilerea Tiffy-six rolls of 
Page's woven wire fence, fort\ ro(i-< m nifh roll. 
This fence cost me seventy cents a rod, $224 a 
mile, or tl568 for the seven miles. Add vo this 
1(87 for freight, and the total amoumed to 11605 
for the wire to fence my land. I got this facer 
as I climbed to the seat beside Thompson. I 
did not blink, however, for I had resolved in the 
beginning to take no account of details until the 
81st day of December, and to spend as muf^h on 
the farm in that time as I could without lieing 
wasteful. I did not care much what others 
thought. I felt that at my age time was pre- 
cioua, and that things must be rushed as rapidly 
as possible. 

I was glad of this slow ride with Thompson, 
for it gave me an opportunity to study him. 1 
wondered then and afterward why a man of his 
general intelligence, industry, and special knowl- 
edge of the details of farming, should fail of 
U 



62 



THE PAT OP THE LAKd 



success when working for himself H. u 
times as much about thp h ■ ^ ^"^^^ ^^n 

y«t he had not succeeded r" '^ ' '''"'"'^ 
position. SomequalS. ,1 h/". '"'^^P^'^dent 
or directness of puZ's! ^'"f^^^^^ of mind 
n^ade him incapaWe ?f « ' "'' ''''^*"^' ^'^''^^ 
matter how welCcJvedT/ °"Vf P'^"' "« 
at Chancelloraville, whose „! % ''^e Hooker 
perfect, whose o dlr^ Z °^ '^"'"P^'S" ^as 

exactness, whose army felTlr"' °"' "'^^ 
and whose enemy dTd the oh \^' ^' ^'*«d, 

foiled terribly bLauseth.'°"' *'''"«' ^«* ^^o 
ultimate wa/greaw .h« ^''""^'bility of the 
second in comS „ « '' ''°"''^ '^'*'-- As 
«"Perb, in inlTntn comT'^^ 'f'^'' ''^ -- 
astrous failure. command he was a dis- 

Thompson, then, was a To -j , 
duced plane,-_go;d onlvt .°^"' '" * ''«- 
man's plans. ThomoZ • u "^''"'^ «"other 
this by saying that T ? "'^ ^""^ '"^^""^d 
trous failu'ref ttt s ^etTJ ^T ' ''^'^ 
ability to sDenH / "^'^ ^^own only 

Such ws"t-,rtr Tad^'^^^,^ ---'^ 

fars ago, but it would not%i '^''^^' ''"^" 
for I have made ml '"'"'^P'^^ ^ay, 

^'-"le. The record "o^tr"";"' "°" ^^ 

^''^ that I can ;!an°Ld IC LtL" ^"-^ 
Thompson told me thaf »> i. ^^^'^"'e. 



FENCED IN 



63 



even then at work ; and that Nos. 6 and 7 
would be fitted for alfalfa by the end of the 
week. He added that the seed ought to be sown 
as soon thereafter as possible and that a liberal 
dressing of commercial fertilizer should be sown 
before the seed was harrowed in. 

« I have ordered five tons of fertilizer," I said, 
" and it ought to be here this week. Sow four 
bags to the acre." 

« Four bags, — eight hundred pounds ; that's 
pretty expensive. Costs, I suppose, $35 to $40 a 
ton." 

"No; $24." 

« How's that ? " 

" Friend at court ; factory price ; $120 for five 
tons ; $5 freight, making in all $126. We must 
use at least eight hundred pounds this fall and 
five hundred in the spring. Alfalfa is an experi- 
ment, and we must give it a show." 

« Never saw anything done with alfalfa in this 
region, but they never took no pain& with it," 
said Thompson. 

"I hope it will grow for us, for it is great 
forage if properly managed. The seed will be 
out this week, and you had best sow it on 
Monday, the 2d." 

" How are you going to seed the north forty ? " 

" Timothy, red top, and blue grass ; heavy 
seeding, to get rid of the weeds. These lots will 
all be used as stock lots. Small ones, you think, 
but we will depend almost entirely upon soiling. 



e4 



THE FAT OF THE LANn 



-nd keep them hLtb/ Ihope ehe'^^ ^"''''- 
'^Pushang things on the house it T?""'"'" 
you into better quarters asT *"* *° ««' 

t^at^^NSlf-^^^^^^ 

AndetVtrrt'r:-^/^7^^^^^^^^ 
our eastern boundary n'L If 1^" ''"' "*^ 
long enough, for my p^oZ L u P°^*^ ^«^« 
«'gned to the woodpile ^' ^" "^"^ •=°»- 

landiTt'- H"e inVrdT^"^ ^^^ ^ --»> 
bank account from Ws "S " 'f ^ """^^'-^^e 
it from his. The far n w ' ^T'"' '" *"'•'» ^^d 
ductive. The houstandT "'" "^^P* *"^ P- 
*nd in good repair Th"' ^""^ ^"^"^""'^l 
farming, 1.aisedThe^/^h;--r did general 

-ilked twenty cow a'nd Lt the "'^'L '° ^^"' 
creamery, sold one or two ° """" ''^ ^^^ 

calves each year and f«.7 f""'^ ^'"^ * '^^^^n 

pigs- He z:;;x 1:1^:^0^:7 r ^'^'^^^ 

dred dolla,^ to his banT ^'^'^ ^ ^"^ l^""" 

each season. He kon^" '°°""' ^' '''^ «"d of 
two in summe" He T" ^" ''^^ "'"^ and 

-ght, well likeJand good roft*^'" "^ *--*^- 
ten inches in height Ch .k "P°" •" «^« ^^^^ 
chest, and a very HercuTe, °'.''^°"'d«r. deep of 
ery Hercules m strength. His face 



m^its? 



FENCED IN 



66 



was handsome, square-jawed and strong. He 
was good-n»tured, but easily roused, and when 
angry waf; as fierce as fire. He had the reputa- 
tion of oeing the nardest fighter in the country. 
His litime was William Jackson, so h^ vas called 
Bill. I Had met Jackson often, and we had 
taken kindly to each other. 1 admired his frank 
manner and sturdy physique, and he looked 
upon me as a good-natured tenderfoot, who 
might be companionable, and who would cer- 
tainly stir up things in the neigliborhood. I 
went in search of him that afternoon to discuss 
the line fence, a full mile of which divided our 
lands. 

" I want to put a fence along our line which 
nothing can get over or under," I said. " I am 
willing to bear the expense of the new fence if 
you will take away the old one and plough eight 
furrows, — four on your land and four on mine, 
. — to be seeded to grass before the wires are 
stretched. We ought to get rid of the weeds 
and brush." 

« That is a liberal proposition. Dr. Williams, 
and of course I accept," said Jackson ; « but I 
ought to do more. I'll tell you what I'll do. 
You are plannhig to put a ring fence around 
your land, — three miles in all. I'll plough the 
whole business and fit it for the seed. I'll take 
one of my men, four horses, and a grub plough, 
and do it whenever you are ready." 

This settled the fence matter between Jackson 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



hanging the gates, for »m ri ^ "'''^' «"'! 
staples and aJso the sfr!! ^ ^" '"'•"'"'^^d the 
of barbed wire above tTe"*' °' **"•«« ^''ands 
fix-inch intervals on the !urr ^''^' *^° ^^ 

-el With the top°:; t e p:;f ' ¥,^ °- '-•<^e. 

fence was six feet high Ld h 7 "' "^ ""^ 
have a serious dislike for f '^ '° '^*'°b- ^ 
•nan or beast, and mv b„? Y""^^""' ^'""^ either 
to discourage' tresp^se,:""? ff/""- -as -^^e 
who enter my properTv . V '"*"' *''°^ 
;/ded, for " whosoXbeth" '" *'^ '-^^^^ "- 
the same is a, thief and" rotber "'"^ °"'^' -^^' 

Ootobr^TlTiLrrS'^^^^ 'he middle of 
own men during Tf^Xr-^'-it by «, 
spnng; and, as I had ^ZlT • " '^'"'"'* and 
and posts, nothing morll^ ul '"'' '""^ ^''^ 
the fence accounf Z r„^ ^' '^^'^'^ to 
seven miles of excellent T ""'"^^'^ 'hese 
A lot of money- slt 1 f ' '"'' ™« «2100. 
as serviceable as when H '' ''^^''^ '^'^Y 

stand for twice sevl, lea ' ""'' '"'' ""'^ '' ^i'' 
d«'iars a year is no ^Xr^S t ^"^ ''""^^^"^ 
security and seclusion wht^f '" ^^^ ^°'- "'e 
"ishes. There was no I'd ^Z'"' /^"^« ^"■- 
Jnuch interior fence r ,i P""'"« "P so 

two if I had it to do """"''^ ^"^ « ""iie or 

n°t dislike my traTJV^""' '^°^"^^«^' I do 
fields. ^ '"'^'S'^t ^^°es and tightly fenced 



•mmmim^ 



CHAPTER XI 



THE BUILDING LINE 



Before leaving Four Oaks that day I had a 
long conversation with Nelson, the carpenter. I 
had taken his measure, by inquiry and observa- 
tion, and was willing to put work into his hands 
as fast as he could attend to it. The first thing 
was to put him in possession of my plan of a 
building line. 

Two hundred feet south of the north line of 
the home lot a street or lane was to run due west 
from the gate on the main road. This was to be 
the teaming or business entrance to the farm. 
Commencing three hundred feet from the east 
end of this drive, the structures were to be as 
follows : On the south side, first a cold-storage 
house, then tlie farm-house, the cottage, the well, 
and finally the carriage bam for the big house. 
On the north side of the line, opposite the ice- 
house, the dairy-house ; then a square with a small 
power-house for its centre, a woodhouse, a horse 
barn for the farm horses, a granary and a forage 
barn for its four corners. Beyond this square to 
the west was the fruit-house and the tool-house 
— the latter large enough to house all the fanQ 
67 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



of the economy that leaves l„rf / ^^«» horror 
«Wds Without protecSon Th- i' '° ^'^^ ""^ 
no be worked out for a ion J '^'""^ ^°"ld 
Ju'ldings were needed at on^ei:* " '''" ''^ "'^ 
the sake of having a genemrn "^^ "'^'^^ f-^"" 

°"t when required; and ?i , ^"'^ '° ^« '"'"^ed 

system had been bu it tlthrlr'"" '"'^ ^^^''^ 
I told Nelson that a I ""^""^ *° '*• 

-- the iu.t thing to bniL" IV'^'""- '^« ''-- 
the men, and that I saw i ' "" '^' ''»"«« for 
even three buildings stoulTJTT "^^" *^° »•• 
construction at the ime t ^^ '" Process of 
-ould be, no difficuiri„ ' ■"' ^'^^ 'here 

pld get the men afdT "^"f^'"^ that if he 
\ promised to do my nal ^ «"' the money, 
details. '"^ P^'^t, and we went into 

shedrmlo^eSwa"" '"^ '^" ""-, with 

stable yard in £^^"1 '" ''°''' ^^^ ^ «™a" 

;at, ten feet by twe2 " ° " ^""'^^n "Manure 

f oor. the vat to be To^ Teet T"'"' "^"^ -'^ 

the ground and two feet ^h "' '^^^ ^««t in 

h s has been built near elh r^f ^ ^'' '^^e 

>« kept, and I find Se^ f"^^^' ""^^'^ «tock 

They save the liq^fd man ''"'^''"^ satisfactory. 

P^' cent to the v£ oTth?' Tf *'"^ ^^"^ ^'^ 

protect from sun and LnV^t' ""^"^ ^^^eds 

a« often as is neceslr^eiV'^^*-^ '^^''^^ 

I believe that the fieldf' ^^^'"^^^^^ of season, for 

t- than a compost t,^" ^^''^ '^ --"urebej 



THE BUILDING LINE 69 

I also told Nelson to make plans and estimates 
for a large forage barn, 75 by 160 feet, 26 feet 
from floor to rafter plate, with a driving floor 
through the length of it and mows on either side. 
A granary, with a capacity of twenty thousand 
bushels, a large woodhouse, and a small house 
in the centre of this group where the fifteen 
horse-power engine could be installed, completed 
my commissions for that day. 

Plans for these structures were submitted in 
due time, »nd tlie work was pushed forward as 
rapidly as possible. The horse barn made a 
eomiortable home for ten horses, if we should 
need so many, with food and water close at 
hand and every convenience for the care of the 
animals and tlieir harness. Tlie forage barn was 
not expensive, _ it was simply to shelter a large 
quantity of forage to be drawn upon when 
needed. The woodhouse was also inexpensive, 
tliough large. Wood was to be the principal 
fuel at Four Oaks, since it would cost nothing, 
and there must be ample siielter for a large 
amount. The granary would have to be built 
well and substantially, but it was not large. 
Tlie power-house also was a small affair. Tlie 
whole cost of these five buildings was #8550. 
The itemized amount is, horse barn. *2000, forage 
barn, 13400, granary, «2200, woodhouse, §400, 
power-house, §550. 



CHAPTER XII 

0ABPENTER8 QUIT ^OBK 

go to Four 0.ks „"„L , I'v ''" "'"" 
get .way ,„ , ,,„' j„ " "» "io yo" e>."<l lo 

«.»«. .. iif., .ho.i ?:, JX°."7;*: 

we are not to forget thpm i ' "'"^ 

over old sods." ^ *'''' burning 

"Every heart knoweth its own sorrow. Polly 
and I have my troubles." ^' 

70 



CABPENTEB8 QUIT WORK 71 

Friday evening, September 6, I returned from 
the west. My first greeting was, 

« How's the farm, Polly ? " 

« It's there, or was yesterday ; I think you'll 
find things running smoothly." 

"Have they sowed the alfalfa and cut the 
oats ? " 

" Yes." 

"Finished the farm-house?" 

"No, not quite, but the >ainters are tJiere, and 
Nelson has commenced work on two other 
buildings." 

« What time can I breakfast ? I must catch 
the 8.10 train, and spend a long day where things 
are doing." 

Things were humming at Four Oaks when I 
arrived. Ten carpenters besides Nelson and his 
son were pounding, sawing, and making confu- 
sion in all sorts of ways peculiar to their kind. 
The ploughmen were busy. Thompson and tl^e 
other two men were shocking oats. I spent 
the day roaming around the place, watching 
the work and building castles. I went to the 
alfalfa field to see if the seed had sprouted. 
Disappointed in this, I wandered down to the 
brook and planned some abridgment of its 
meanderings. It could be straightened and kept 
within bounds without great exp*'n«t if the work 
were done in a dry season. Polly had asked for 
a winding brook with a fringe of willows and 
dogwood, but I would not make this concessio» 



n 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



I* H 



useful to the sacrifice of everything else A 
lot. If .t could be found, but not on the farm A 

ttf :) 'r '"''""'"' -"^ «" that would 
r«nT ' ?. ^ begrudged even that. No waS^ 

yietdeS after '" T- "''' ''""^ ""'^ ^'^ ""'l 
yielded after stipulating that I must keen mv 

hands off the home forty. ^ ^ 

Over in the woods I found two men at work 

tkld'ttrr'^- '^*'«^--e<l «Pert,and 
1 Mked them how many they could make in a 

"From 90 to 125, according to the timber 
Bu we must work hard to make good wages' 

sn '.r V^P^'"" *° °"'" ^'''"g^ besides post- 
sphttmg, doesn't it ? " ^ 

Closer inspection of the wood lot »■«»,•« a 

by Nature, but she had worked with so prodigal 
a hand that .t shewed all kinds of possfbTlS 

the phce, I had a little talk with Nelson. * 

"Everything ,s going on nicely," he said. « I 
have ten carpenters, and they are a busy lo I 
I^can^only hold them on to the Job, th^ings' wilf 

« What's the matter? Can't you hold them ? " 

'I hope so, but there is a bolsters' strike on 

"> the cty, and the carpenter threaten to Z 



CARPENTERS QUIT WORK 



73 



out in sympathy. I hope it won't reach us, but 
I'm afraid it will." 

"What will you do if the men go out?" 

" Do the best I can. I can get two non-union 
men that I know of. They would like to be on 
this job now, but these men won't permit it. 
My son is a full hand, so there will be four of 
us; but it will be slow work." 

"See here, Nelson, I can't have this work slack 
up. We haven't time. Oold weather will be 
on before we know it. I'm going to take this 
bull by the horns. I'll advertise for carpenters 
in the Sunday papers. Some of those who apply 
will be non-union men, am! I'll hold them over 
for a few days until we see how the cat jumps. 
If it comes to the worst, we can get some men 
to take the place of Thompson and Sam, who 
are carpenters, and set them at the tools. I will 
not let this work stop, strike or no strike." 

"If you put non-union men on you will have 
to feed and sleep them on the place. The union 
will make it hot for them." 

" I will take all kinds of rare of every man 
who gives me honest work, you may be sure." 

When I returned to town I sent this "ad." to 
two papers : " Wanted : Ten good carpenters 
to go to the country." The Sunday papers gave 
a lurid account of the sentiment of the Carpen- 
ters' Union and its sympathetic attitude toward 
the striking hoisters. The forecast was that 
there would not be a nail driven if the strike 



MKROCOTY KISOIUTION ffil CHAIT 

(ANSI and ISO TEST CHART No. 2) 




^ ^■^PPLIED IM/IGE In 

^S*- ^6S3 East Moin Streil 

S*.^ RochMttf, New York 14609 USA 

'JS= (''S) 482 - 0300 - Phone 

^S (^16) 2BB - 5989 - Fox 



r4 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



I! I 



to be set to work ^ ^' '^ P^^^^ps 

'.o».....a„d.„<,?,:Xi°""'"'""J'"* 

satisfied, and so am T rT fj' ^ ^°^^ '^ 
' ° *™ ^- ^t would suit us down 



CAKPENTEBS QUIT WORK 



76 



to the ground if you would continue on until all 
tliese jobs are finished. We can give you a lot 
of work for the best part of the year. You are 
sure of work and sure of pay if you stay with 
us. That is all I have to say until you have 
decided for yourselves what you will do if the 
strike is ordered." 

I left the men for a short time, while they 
talked things over. It did not take them long 
to decide. 

"We must stand by the union," said the 
spokesman, « but we'll be damned sorry to quit 
this job. You see, sir, we can't do any other 
way. We have to be in the union to get work, 
and we have to do as the union says or we will 
be kicked out. It is hard, sir, not to do a hit of 
a hammer for weeks or months with a family on 
one's hands and winter coming ; but what can a 
man do? We don't see our way clear in this 
matter, but we must do as the union says." 

« I see how you are fixed," said I, " and I am 
mighty sorry for you. I am not going to rail 
against unions, for they may have done some 
good ; but they work a serious wrong to the man 
with a family, for he cannot follow them without 
bringing hardships upon his dependent ones. It 
is not fair to yoke him up with a single man 
who has no natural claims to satisfy, no mouth to 
feed except his own ; but I will talk business. 

« You will be ordered out to-morrow or next 
day, and you say you will obey the order. You 



76 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



have an undoubted right to do so. A man is 
no a slave, to be made to work against his will'; 
but, on the other hand, is he not a slave if he is 
forced to quit against his will? Freedom of 
action in personal matters is a right which wis» 
men have fought for and for which wise men 

What shall I do when you quit work? How 
long are you going to stay out? What will 
become of my interests while you are following 
the lead of your bell-wethers? Shall my work 
stop because you have been called out for a holi- 
day? Shall the weeds grow over these walls 
and my lumber rot while you sit idly by -> Not 
by a long sight! You have a perfect right to 
quit work, and I have a perfect right to continue. 
"The rights which we claim for ourselves we 

defensible a right to work as another man has to 
fr^H ■ .^ ' l«P««>ate exercise of personal 
freedom there is no effort at coercion, and in this 
case there shall be none. If you choose to qui 
you will do so without let or hindmnce from me 
but If you quit, others will take your places 
without let or hindrance from you You wil 
be paid in full to-night. When you leave, you 
must take your tools with you, that there may be 
no excuse for coming back. When you leave 
the place, the incident will be closed so far as 
you and I are concerned, and it will not be 
opened unless I find some of you trying to inter- 



CARPENTERS QUIT WORK 



77 



fere with the men I shall engage to take your 
places. I think you make a serious mistake in 
following blind leaders who are doing you mate- 
rial injury, for sentimental reasons ; but you must 
decide this for yourselves. If, after sober thought, 
any of you feel disposed to return, you can get a 
job if there is a vacancy ; but no man who works 
for me during this strike will be displaced by a 
striker. You may put that in your pipes and 
smoke it. Nelson will pay you off to-night." 

The strike was ordered for Wednesday. On 
the morning of that day the seven carpenters 
whom I had engaged arrived at my office ready 
for work. I took them to the station and started 
for Four Oaks. At a station five miles from 
Exeter we quitted the train, hired two carriages, 
and were driven to the farm without passing 
through the village. 

We arrived without incident, the men had their 
dinners, and at one o'clock the hair rs and 
saws were busy again. We had lost bat one 
half day. The two non-union men whom Nelson 
had spoken of were also at work, and three days 
later the spokesman of the strikers threw up his 
card and joined our force. We had no serious 
trouble. It was thought wise to keep the new 
men on the place until ihe excitement had passed, 
and we had to warn some of the old ones off two 
or three times, but nothing disagreeable happened, 
and from that day to this Four Oaks has remained 
non-unionized. 



! t 



CHAPTER XIII 

nAsmsa fob thk tbem 

Thk morning of September 17th a small frost 
fell. —just enough to curl the leaves of the corn 
ana show that it was time for it to be laid by 
Thompson, Johnson, Anderson, and the two men 
trom the woods, who were diverted from their 
post.spht«ng for the time being, went gayly to 
the corn fields and attacked the sUnding grain 
m the o d-fash,oned way. This was not economi- 
cal ; but I had no corn reaper, and there was none 
to hire, for the frost had struck us all at the same 
time The five men were kept busy until the two 
patches-about forty-three acres-were in shock. 
This brought us to the 24th. In the meantime 
the men and women moved from the cottage to 
the more commodious farm-house. Polly had 
found excuses for spending flOO more on the 
fum,shmgs of this house, -two beds and a lot 
of other thmgs. Sunday gave the people a 
chance to arrange their affairs, and they cer- 
tainly appreciated their improved surroundings 

The cottage was moved to its place on the 
line, and the last of the seeding on the north 
forty was done. Ten tons of fertilizer were 
sown on this forty acre tract (at a cost of 1250), 

78 



PLANNmO FOR THE TREES 



79 



and it was then left to itself, not to be trampled 
over by man or beast, except for the stretching 
of fences or for work around some necessary 
buildings, until the middle of the following 
May. 

We did not sow any wheat that year, there 

was too much else to be done of more impor- 
tance. There is not much money in wheat-farm- 
ing unless it be done on a large scale, and I had 
no wish to raise more than I could feed to advan- 
tage. Wheat was to be a change food for my 
fowls ; but just then I had no fowls to feed, and 
there were more than two hundred bushels in 
stacks ready for the threshers, which I could 
hold for future hens. 

The ploughmen were now directed to com- 
mence deep ploughing on No. 14, — the forty acres 
set apart for the commercial orchard. This tract 
of land lay well for the purpose. Its surface 
was nearly smooth, with a descent to the west 
and southwest that gave natural drainage. I 
have been informed that an orchard would do 
better if the slope were to the northeast. That 
may be true, but mine has done well enough 
thus far, and, what is more to the point, I had 
no land with a northeast slope. The surface 
soil was thin and somewhat impoverished, but 
the subsoil was a friable clay in which almost 
anything would grow if it was properly worked 
and fed. It was my desire to make this square 
block of forty acres into a first-class apple orchard 



80 




THE FAT OF THE LAND 



for profit Seven years from planting is almost 
too soon to decide how well I have succeeded, 
but the results attained and the promises for the 
future lead me to believe that there will be no 
failure in my plan. 

The three essentials for beginning such an 
orchard are: prepare the land properly, get good 

well. I could do no more this year than to 
plough deep, smooth the surface, and plant as 
well as I knew how. Increased fertility must 
come from future cultivation and top dressing. 
The thing most prominent in my plan was to 
get good trees well placed in the ground before 
cold weather set in. At my time of life I could 
not afford to wait for another autumn, or even 
until spring I had, and still have, the opinion 
that a fall-planted tree is nearly six months in 
advance of one planted the following spring 
Of course there can be no above-ground growth 
during that time, but important things are being 
done below the surface. The roots find time to 
heal their wounds and to send out small searchera 
after food, which will be ready for energetic 
work as soon as the sun begins to warm the soil 
The earth settles comfortably about these roots 
and IS moulded to fit them by ihe autumn rains. 
If the stem is well braced by a mound of earth 
and if a thick mulch is placed around it, m. ch 
will be done below ground before deep frosts 
interrupt the work; and if, in the early spring. 



PLANNINQ FOB THE TBEES 



81 



the mulch and mound are drawn back, the sun's 
influence will set the roots at work earlier by 
far than a spring tree could be planted. 

Other reasons for fall planting are that the 
weather is more settled, the ground is more 
manageable, help is more easily secured, and 
the nurserymen have more time for filling your 
order. Any time from October 15 until Decem- 
ber 10 will answer in our climate, but early 
November is the best. I had decided to plant 
the trees in this orchard twenty-five feet apart 
each way. In the forty acres there would be 
fifty -two rows, with fifty-two trees in each row, — 
or tv. >:nty-seven hundred in all. I also decided to 
have but four varieties of apples in this orchard, 
and it was important that they should possess a 
number of virtues. They must come into early 
bearing, for I was too old to wait patiently for 
slow-growing trees ; they must be of kinds most 
dependable for yearly crops, for I had no respect 
for off years ; and they must be good enough in 
color, shape, and quality to tempt the most fas- 
tidious market. I studied catalogues and talked 
with pomologists until -my mind was nearly 
unsettled, and finally decided upon Jonathan, 
Wealthy, tlome Beauty, and Northwestern Green- 
ing, — all winter apples, and all red but the last. 
I was helped in my decision, so far as the Jona- 
thans and Rome Beauties were concerned, by the 
discovery that more than half of the old orchard 
was composed of these varieties. 



I> 



THK FAT OF THE LAND 



nlZ?*"* *' ,' ''"'"'"''" •" to th, wisdom of 
planting trees of kinds known to hnve done weH 
n your neighborhood. They are just as like y 
o do wel by you as by your neighbor. If the 
fruit be to your liking, you can safely plant, for 
It IS no longer an experiment; some one else has 
broken that ground for you. 

In casting about for a reliable nurseryman to 
whom to trust the very important bulei S 
supplying me with young trees, I could not long 

YorPV'^'"""".'''^""'"" ^••°™ Roc.hester.New 
r orK Perhaps the reason was that as a child I 
had frequently ridden over the plank road from 
Henne ta to Rochester, and my memory «caUed 
distinct y but three objects on that road, -the 
house of Frederick Douglass, Mount Hope Ceml 
tery, and a nursery of young trees. Everything 
e^se was obscure. I fancy that in fifty years Jf 
Douglass house has disappeared, but l/ount Hoje 
Cemetery and the tree nursery seem to mock S 
time. The soil and climate near Rochester are 
especially favorable to the growing of young 
trees and my order went to one of the many 
reliable firms engaged in this business. The 
order was for thirty-four hundred trees _ 
twenty^even hundred for the forty-acre orchard 
and seven hundred for the ten acr^s f^rthTst „ 
he south on the home lot. Polly had consented 
to_ thi^nvasion of her domain, for reasons. She 

"It is a long way oflF, rather flat and unin- 



PLANNING FOB THK TBEE8 



83 



teresting, and I do not see exactly how to tDat 
it. Apple trees are pretty at most times, and 
picturesque when old. You can .,ut them there, 
if you will seed the ground and treat it as part 
cf the lawn. I hate your old straight rows, but 
I suppose you must have them." 

"Yes, I guess I shall have to have straight 
rows, but I will agree to tije lawn plan after the 
third year. You must give me a chance to culti- 
vate the land for three years." 

Your tree-man must be abfolutely reliable. 
You have to trust him much and long. Not 
only do you depend upon him to send you good 
and healthy stock, but you must trust, for five 
years at least, that this stock wi'l prove true to 
name. The most discouraging thing which can 
befall a horticulturist is to find his new fruit 
false to purchase labels. After wai'. worry, and 
work he finds that he has not what he expected, 
and that he must begin over again. It is cold 
comfort for the tree-man to make good his 
guarantee to replace all stock found untrue, 
for five years of irreplaceable time has passed. 
When you have spent time, hope, and e;kpecta- 
tion as well as money, looking for results which 
do not come, your disappoint-nent is out of all 
proportion to your financial loss, be thfit never 
so great. In the beat-managed nurseries there 
will be mista i, but the better the management 
the fewer the mistakes. Pay good prices for 
young trees, and demand the best. There is 



■* THE FAT OF THE LAND 

no economy in cheap stock, and the sooner the 

Jj^'i" wm'Tr- .^^-P-h-d" this fact, the 
better ,t will be for him. I ordered trees of 
three years' growth from the bud,_this7ould 
mean four-year-old roots. Perhaps' it wol ha e 
been as well to buy smaller ones (many w^L 

hTr? ", t: *?'i "■" .''°>' ^"' ' -- - -c " 

at T^e firs? K^ "''"' '^'^P'''^ ^-^^ '^^ '«'«« 
stu^dv fh~ ^ t '"°'"'"*- ^ '"•«"«d that a 
sturdy three-year-old would have an advantage 
over ,ts neighbor that was only two. HowevS 
small th.s;advantage, I wanted it in my buZL 
-my busmess being to make a profitable far^ 

wereto li^T S' '*" *""« «^ ^''^ home Z 
were to be planted with three hundred Yellow 
Transparent, three hundred Duchess of OldZ 
burg, and one hundred mixed varieties for home 
use. I selected the Transparent and the DucZ 
on account of their disposition to bear early and 
because they are good sellere in a near market 
and because a fruit-wise friend was making 
money from an eight-year-old orehard of thref 
Srhem.''^-*^^-^»^^^-^--r 

vP.^I^u'"'^"' .'*""'' ^'"" thirty-four hundred three- 

iorireTuCsr:r;55r's^^°™''*^r' 

bPPn mo^„ • A ^"* agreement had 

been made m August, and the trees were to be 

bl 71,! r *'^ '°"' °^ ^''^"ber as p Jict 
ble. Apple trees comprised my entire planting 



- 



PLiVNNINO FOR THE TREES M 

for the autumn of 1896. 1 wanted to do much 
other work in that line, but it had to be left for 
a more convenient season. Hundreds of fruit 
trees, shade trees, and shrubs have since been 
planted at Four Oaks, but this first setting of 
thirty.four hundred apple trees was I e most 
important as well as the most urgent. 

The orchard was to be a prominent feature in 
the factory I was building, a?; • as it would be 
slower in coming to perfection than any other 
part, it was wise to start it betimes. I have 
kicked myself black and blue for neglecting to 
plant an orchard ten years earlier. If T had 
done this, and had spent two hours a mi ,h in 
the management of it, it would now be a thing 
of beauty and an income-producing joy forever, 
— or, at least, as long a., my great-grandchildren 
will need it. 

There is no danger of overdoing orcharding. 
The demand for fruit incr^ses faster than the 
supply, and it is only poor quality or bad hand- 
ling that causes a slack market. If the general 
farmer will become an expert orchardist, he will 
find that year by year his ten acres of fruit will 
give him a larger profit than any forty acres of 
grain land ; but to get this result he must be 
faithful to his trees. Much of the time they are 
caring for themselves, and for the owner, too; 
but there are times when they require sharp at- 
tention, and if they do not get it promptly aad 
m the right way, they and the owner will suffer. 






M TEE FAT OF THE LAND 

o^uf'^^'^f- ^" " '°'' °«°"Pation requires fav- 
s^deibK '*:' '"' market, and also a col 
siderable degree of aptitude on tlie part of the 
manager, to make it highly profitable XlrZ 
grower in our climate must have other interests 
^ he would make the most of his time. While 
wa.tmg for his fruit he can raise food for hens 
h.^^ '■/"'* 'f he feeds hens and hogs 
he should keep as many cows as he can £ 
ml then use m his own factory all the raw 
matena he can ra.se. This will again be rl 
turned to the land as a byproduct, which wHl 
not only mamtain the fertility of the farm, but 
even mcrease it. If his cows are of the best 
hey w:ll yield butter enough to pay for the*; 
food and to give a profit; the skin, milk, fed to 
the hogs and hens, will give eggs and pork out 
of all proportion to its cost ; and everything that 

finished product for a liberal price, and yet the 
and wi, not be depleted. The orc'hard ifttfe 

benerfoS/ .'r t"'' "'^'' ^""^ ^^^^ -e 
oe.ter for the orchard. These industries fit into 

each other like the folding of hands; they si 

mutually dependent, and yet they a e often dT 

vorced, or, at best, only loosely related This 

Jiew may seem to be the result of post ho^rZ 

soniag, but I think it is not. I believ^e I imbibed 

these notions with my mother's milk, for I ca„ 

remember no time when they were not mine 

The psalmist said, "Comfort me with appS - 



PLANNING FOE THE TREES 87 

and the psalmist was reputed a wise man. With 
only sufficient wisdom to plant an orchard, I live 
in high expectation of finding the same comfort 
in my old age. 



I 



!:l 



I: 



CHAPTER XIV 

PLANTING OP THE TREES 

September proved as dry as August was wet, 
— only half an inch of water fell; and the seed- 
ings would have been slow to start had they 
depended for their moisture upon the clouds. 
By October' 1, however, green had taken the 
place of brown on nearly all the sixty acres we 
had tilled. The threshers came and threshed 
the wheat and oats. Of wheat there were 311 
bushels, of oats, 1272. We stored this grain in 
the cottage until the granary should be ready 
and stacked the straw until the forage barn 
could receive it. My plan from the first has 
been to shelter all forage, even the meanest, and 
bright oat straw is not low in the scale. 

On the 10th the horse stable was far enough 
advanced to permit the horses to be moved, and 
the old barn was deserted. A neighbor who 
had bought this barn at once pulled it down 
and carted it away. In this transaction I held 
out several days for $50, but as my neighbor was 
obdurate I finally accepted his offer. The first 
entry on the credit side of my farm ledger is, By 
one old barn, 145. The receipts for October, 
November, and December, were • — 

88 



PLANTING OF THE TEEES 89 

By one old bam 946.00 

By apples on trees (153 trees at 11.85 each) . . . ZSsioO 

By 480 bushels of potatoes at 80 cents per bushel . . 144.00 

By five old sows, not fat 85.00 

One cow ^[oo 

Three cows 70.00 

Two cows I 35;oo 

Three cows, two heifers, nine calves .... 187.00 
Forty-three shoats and gilts, average 163 lb., at 2 cents 

P«f lb 139.00 

Total J053.00 

The young hogs had eaten most of my small 
potatoes and some of my corn before we parted 
with them in late November. These sales were 
made at the farm, and at low prices, for I was 
afraid to send such stuff to market lest some one 
should find out whence it came. The Four Oaks 
brand was to stand for perfection in the future, 
and I was not willing to handicap it in the least. 
Top prices for gilt-edged produce is what inten- 
sive farming means; and if there is money in 
land, it will be found close to this line. 

The potatoes had been dug and sold, or stored 
in the cellar of the farm-house ; the apples from 
the trees reserved for home use had been gath- 
ered, and we were ready for the fall planting. 
While waiting for the stock to arrive, we had 
time to get in all the hay and most of the straw 
into the forage barn, which was now under roof. 

On Saturday, the 26th, word came that six- 
teen immense boxes had arrived at Exeter for 
us. Three teams were sent at once, and each 
team brought home two boxes. Three trips were 



w 



Ml! PAT OP THE LAUD 



i! 



i 



I 



t\ 



made and the entire prospective orchard was 
safely landed. Monday saw our whole forceT 
work plant „g trees. Small stakes had bee„ 
dnven to give the exact centre for each hol/!^ 
that the trees, viewed from any diJe 2„ w:'u d 

to LTt ,"""• ^*"' ^^*'' -'^ J"*^"- - e 

nVht an5 t^ "' P""'"^ '^' «"^f*«« dirt to the 
nght, and the poor earth to the left- T w«= 7 

prune the roots and keep tab on 1,1 7^1 ° 

Johnson and Anderson were to set the trees 

Anderson using a shovel and Johnson lisTandT 

feet, and eyes; while Thompson was to puddle 

clay. Into this thin mud the roots of p«.k ? 
were dipped before planting "^'^ ^''^ 

to^l '^"'^r^ *° ''''"■''° *»^« "-oots that were 
ines Ct *° "* '"^^^''^ ''™-d -d broken 
Z; ? P™"'"S ^*« t° be done after the 

*r were all set and banked. The stock was 
fi^e m every respect, - fully up to proj^ 
Watchmg Johnson set his first free co'nZ "d 
me that he knew more about planting than I 
aid. He heed and levelled if . kL „ 3 . 
dirt into the hole, an/chl^i t'^or u7 ^^^ 

dirt, and he tramped it; yet more dirt, and he 

stamped :t until the tree stood like a post then 

loose dirt, and he left U t , ' " 

. a«« no Jett jt, I was sure Johnson 



PLANTING OF THE TEEE3 91 

knew his business too well to need advice from 
a tenderfoot, so I went back to my root pruning. 
We were ten days planting these thirty-four 
hundred trees, but we did it well, and the days 
were short. We finished on the 7th of Novem- 
ber. The trees were now to be top pruned. 
I told Johnson to cut every tree in the big or- 
chard back to a three-foot stub, unless there was 
very, good reason for leaving a few inches (never 
more than six), and I turned my back on him and 
walked away as I said these cruel words. It 
seemed a shame to cut these bushy, long-legged, 
handsome fellows back to dwarfish insignificance 
and brutish ugliness, but it bad to be done. I 
wanted stocky, thrifty, low-headed business trees; 
and there was no other way to get them. The 
trees in the lower, or ten-acre, orchard, were not 
treated so severely. Their long legs were left, 
and their bushy tops were only moderately cur- 
tailed. We would try both high and low 
heading. 

On the night of November 11 the shredders 
came and set up their great machine on the floor 
of the forage barn, ready to commence work the 
next morning. There were ten men in the shred- 
ding gang. I furnished six more, and Bill Jack- 
son came with two others to change work with 
me; that is, my men were to help him when the 
machine reached his farm. We worked nineteen 
men and four teams three and a half days on the 
forty-three acres of corn, and as a result, had a. 



92 



THE FAT OF TI£E LAND 



tremendous mow of shredded corn fodder and an 
immense pile of half-husked ears. For the use 

paid 1105. Poor economy 1 Before next corn- 

d/pH K? -^/T-!.^ r°'*^ * machine, -smaller in- 
deed but ,t did the work as well (thouga not as 
quickly), and it cost me only fSlS^ud was good 
lor ten years. 

The weather had favored me thus far. The 
wet August had put the ground into good con- 

f^rwarH tV"™'*-*^ °" b^iWings to be pushed 
forward, but now everything was to change. A 
l.ght ram began on the morning of the ISth (I 
did not permit it to interrupt the shredding, 

had developed mto a steady downpour th.at con- 
tinued, with interruptions, for six weeks. No- 

Inl f T ^r"*'""' °^ ^^^^ S*^« "« 'ain and 
snow fall equal to twelve and a half inches of 
water. Plans at Fo .r Oaks had to be n,odified 
Ihere was no more use for the ploughs. Nos. 10 
snrini ^^ kT'^ °^ *^' ^°™« >°* ^^""^ ^^^ "ntil 

spring. I had planned to mulch heavily all the 
new y set trees and for this purpose had bough 
SIX carloads of manure (at a cost of $72); but 
this manure could not be hauled across the sodden 

for uV .k""'* °''^' ^' P"^<^ '» ^ g--«-t heap 
for use in the spnng. The carpenters worked at 

disadvantage, and the farm men could do little 

more than keep themselves and the animals com- 



PLANTING OF THE TREES 



93 



fortable. They did, however, finish one good 
job between showers. They tile-drained the 

routes for the two roads on the home lot, the 

strs'jht one east and west through the build- 
ing line, about 1000 feet, and the winding car- 
riage drive to the site of the main house, about 
1860 feet. The tile pipe cost »128. They also 
set a lot of fence posts in the soft ground. 

Building progressed slowly during the bad 
weather, but before the end of December the 
horse barn, the woodshed, the granary, the for- 
age barn, and the power-house were completed, 
and most of the machinery was in place. The 
machinery consisted of a fifteen horse-power 
engine, with shafting running to the forage 
barn, the granary, and the woodshed. A power- 
saw was set in the end of the shed, a grind- 
ing mill in the granary, and a fodder-cutter in 
the forage barn. The cost of these items was : — 
Engine and shafting 9187.00 



Saw 

MUl . . 

Feed-cutter and carrier 
Total . 
the 



24.00 

3:.'.oo 

76.00 



. t319.00 

I gave the services of my two carpenters, 
Thompson and Sam, during most of this time 
to Nelson, for I had but littlp work for them, 
and he was not making much out of his job. 

The last few days of 1895 turned clear and 
cold, and the barometer set « fair." The change 
chirked us up, and we ended the year in good 
spirits. 



I It 



11 ' ' 

it 

i 



CHAPTER XV 

Polly's judgment hall 

Before closing the books, we should take 
account of stock, to see what we had purchased 
with our money. Imprimis: 820 acres of good 
^nd, satisfactory to the eye, well fenced and 
well groomed; 8400 apple trees, so well planted 
as to warrant a profitable future; a water and 
sewer system as good as a city could supply; 
farm bu.ldmgs well planned and sufficient for 
the day ; an abundance of food for all stock, and 
CO spare; an intelligent and willing working 
force; machinery for more than present nece^ 
sity , eight excellent horses and their belongings • 

slLT^'lT'^r''^^ ^°°^' *^° P'«« -°d t?o 
score fowls, to be eaten before spring, and a U of 

th s last Item to make the account balance, I can 
tell better when I foot the other side of the 
ledger. 

But first I must add a few items to the debit 
account. Moving the cottage cost «30. I paid 
«J34 for grass seed and seed rye. The waee 
account for six men and two women for five 
months was $735. Their food account was $277. 

84 



POLLY'S JUDGMENT HALL 



9S 



Of course the farm furnished milk, cream, butter, 
vegetables, some fiuit, fresh pork, poultry, and 
eggs. There were also some small freight bills, 
which had not been accounted for, amounting to 
t31, and 18 had been spent in transportation for 
the men. Then the farm must be charged with 
inte 'est on all money advanced, when I had com- 
pleted my additions. The rate was to be five 
per cent, and the time three months. 

On the last day of the year I went to the farm 
to pay up to date all accounts. I wished to end 
the year with a clean score. I did not knorv 
what the live months had cost me (I would know 
that evening), but I did know that I had had 
«tht time of my life" in the spending, and I 
would not whine. I felt 8 little nervous when I 
thought of going over the figures with Polly, — 
she was such a judicious spender of money. But 
I knew her criticism would not be severe, for she 
was hand-in-glove with me in the project. I 
tried to find fault with myself for wastefulness, 
but some excellent excuse would always crop up. 
" Your water tower is unn ?ssary." « Yes, but it 
adds to the landscape, and it has its use." « You 
have put up too much fencing." " True, but I 
wanted to feel secure, and the old fences were such 
liests of weeds and rubbish." " You have spent 
too much money on the farm-house." " I think 
not, for the laborer is worthy of his hire, and also 
of all reasonable creature comforts." And thus 
it went on. I would not acknowledge myself in 



06 



THE TAT OF THE LAND 



1 l» 



the wrong; nor, arguing how I might, could I 
find aught but good in my labors. I devoutly 
hoped to be able to put the matter in the same 
light when I stood at the bar in Polly's judgment 

The day was clear, cool, and stimulating. A 
fair fall of snow lay on the ground, clean and 
wholesome, as country snow always is. I wished 
that the house was finished (it was not begun), 
and that the family was with me in it. « Another 
Christmas time will find us here, God willing 
and many a one theredfter." ' 

I spent three hours at the farm, doing a little 
busmess and a lot of mooning, and then returned 
to town. The children were off directlj after 
dmner, intent o.. holiday festivities, so that Polly 
and I had the house to ourselves. I felt that vre 
needed it. i invited my partner into the den, 
lighted a pipe for consolation, unlocked the 
drawer m which the farm ledger is kept, gave a 

small deprecatory cough, and said : 

"My dear, I am afraid I have spent an awful 
lot of money in the last five months. You see 
there is such a quantity of things to do at once 
and they run into no end of money. You know, 

" Of course I know it, and I know that you 
have got the worth of it, too." 

Wouldn't that console you ! How was I to 
know that Polly would hail from that ouarter? 
I would have kissed her hand, if she would have 



POLLY'S JUDGMENT HALL 



VT 



permitted such liberty; I kissed her lips, and 
was ready to defend any sum total v ..ich the 
ledger dare show. 

" Do you know how much it is ? " said 
Polly. 

" Not within a million ! " I was reckless then, 
and iioped the total would be great, for had not 
Polly said that she knaw I had got the worth of 
my money ? And who was to gainsay her ? " It 
is morn than I planned for, I know, but I do not 
see how I could use less without losing precious 
time. We started into this thing with the theory 
that the more we put into it, without waste, the 
more we would ultimately get out of it. Our 
theory is just as sound to-day as it was five 
months ago." 

«We will win out all right in the end, Mr. 
Headman, for we will not put the price-mark on 
health, freedom, happiness, or fun, until we have 
seen the debit side of the ledger." 

"How much do you want to spend for the 
house?" said I. 

" Do you mean the house alone ? " 

" No ; the house and carriage barn. I'll pay for 
the trees, shrubs, and kickshaws in the gardens 
and lawns." 

« You started out with a plan for a 110,000 
house, didn't you? Well, I don't think that's 
enough. You ought to give me $15,000 for ♦' 
house and barn and let me see what I can lo 
with it ; and you ought to give it to me rignt 



li .11 



ii ii 



» THE FAT OF THE LAND 

away, 80 that you cannot spend It for pigs and 
foolish farm things." 

« I'll do it within ten days, Polly , and I won't 
meddle in your affaim if you will agree to keep 
within the limit." *^ 

"If', a bargain," said Polly, "and the house 
^ 11 be much more livable than this one. What 
u^ you think we could sell this one for?" 
« About 188,000 or t84,000, I think." 
« And will you sell it ? " 
"Of course, if you don't object." 
«SelI, to be sure ; it would be foolish to keep 
it, for we'll be country folk in a year " 

"I have a theory," said I, "that when we live 
on the farm we ought to credit the farm with 
what it oosts us for food and shelter here, — pro- 
vidmg, of course, that the farm feeds and shelters 
us as well." 

"It will do it a great deal better. We will 
have a better house, better food, more company 
more leisure, more life, and mor« eveiything that 
countr than we ever had before." 

"We'll fix the value of those things when 
we ve had experience," said I. ..Now let's get 
at the figures. I tell you plainly that I don't 
know what they foot up, -less than 140,000, I 
hope." ' 

"Don't let's worry about them, no matter 
wntt they say." 
This from prudent, provident Polly 1 
"Certainly not," said I, as bold as a lion. 



POLLY'S JUDGMENT HALL 



9» 



" There are thirty-five items on the debit Hide of 
tlie ledger und a few little ones on the credit 
side. Hold your breath while I add them. 

« I have spent 144,881 and have received $963, 
which leaves a debit balance of iMS.STS." 

" That isn't so awfully bad, when you think 
of all the fun you've had." 

"Fun comes high at this time of the year, 
doesn't it, Polly?" 

« Much depends on what you call high. You 
have waited and worked a long time for this. I 
won't say a word if you spend all you have in 
the — orld. It's yours." 

"Mine and yours and the children's; but I 

■'on't spend it all. Seventy or seventy-five 

housand dollars, besides your house and barn 

money, shall be my limit. There is still an item 

>f interest to be added to this account. 

"Interest! Why, John Williams, do you 
mean to tell me that you borrowed this 
money? I thought it was your own to do as 
you liked with. Have you got to pay interest 
on it ? " 

"It was mine, but I loaned it to the farm. 
Before I made this loan I was getting five per 
cent on the money. I must now look to the 
farm for my five per cent. If it cannot pay this 
interest promptly, I shall add the deferred pay- 
ment to the principal, and it shall bear interest. 
This must be done each year until the net in- 
come from the farm is greater than the interest 



litis 



100 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



account. Whatever is over will then be used to 
reduce the principal." 

" That's a long speech, but I don't think it's very 
clear. I don't see why a man should pay inter- 
est on his own money. The farm is yours, isn't 
it ? You bought it with youi own money, didn't 
you? What diflference does it make whether 
you charge interest or not ? " 

« Not the least difference in the world to us, 
Polly, b-t a great deal to the experiment." 

"Oi. -es, I forgot the experiment. And how 
much interest do you add ? " 

"Five hundred and forty-two dollars. Also, 
$75 to the lawyer and *5 for recording the deed, 
making the whole debt of the farm to me 
144,000 even." 

" Does it come out just even $44,000 ? I be- 
lieve you've manipulated the figures." 

"Not on your life! Add them yourself. 
They were put down at all sorts of times during 
the past five months. My dear, I wish you a 
good-night and a happy New Year. You have 
given me a very happy ending for the old one." 



ii i 



CHAPTER XVI 



WINTER WOBK 

The new year opened full of all sorts of inter- 
ests and new projects. There were so many things 
to plan for and to commence at the farm that we 
often got a good deal mixed up. I tan hardly 
expect to make a connected narrative of the vari- 
ous plans and events, so will follow each one far 
enough to launch it and then leave it 'or future 
development. 

Little snow fell in January and Februarv '96. 
The weather was average winter weather, and a 
good deal of outdoor work was done. On the 
2d I went to the farm to plan with Thompson 
an outline for the two months. I had decided 
to make Thompson the foreman, for I had 
watched him carefully for five months anc' was 
satisfied that I might go farther and fare a great 
deal worse. Indeed, I thought myself very for- 
tunate to have found such a dependable man. 
He was temperate and good-natured, and he had 
a bluff, hearty way with the other men that 
made it easy for them to accept his directions. 
He was thorough, too, in his work. He knew 
how a job should be done, and he was not satis- 

101 



IflS 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



llfl 



fied until it was finished correctly. He was not 
a worker for work's sake, as was Anderson, but 
he was willing to put his shoulder to the wheel 
for results. 

"Wait till I get my shoulder under it," was a 
favorite expression with him, and I am frank to 
say that when this conjunction took place there 
was apt to be something doing. Thompson is 
still at Four Oaks, and it will be a bad day for 
the farm whon he leaves. 

"Thompson," said I, « you are to be working 
foreman o^t here, and I want you to put your 
mmd on the business and keep it there. I can- 
not raise your wages, for I have a system ; but 
you shall have $50 as a Christmas present if 
thmgs go well. Will you stay on these terms ? » 
«I will stay, all right, Dr. Williams, and I 
will give the best I've got. I like the looks of 
this place, and I want to see how you are going 
to work it out." 

That being settled, I told Thompson of some 
things that must be done during January and 
February. 

"You must get out a great lot of wood, have 
It sawed, and store it in the shed, more than 
enough for a year's use. The wood should be 
taken from that which is already down. Don't 
cut any standing trees, even though they are 
dead. Use all limbs that are large enough, but 
pile the brushwood where it can be burned 
We must do wise forestry in these woods, and 



WINTER WORK 103 

we will have an unlimited supply of fuel I 
mean that the wood lot shall grow better rather 
than worse as the years go by. We cannot do 
much for it now, but more in time. You must 
see to it that the men are not careless about 
young trees, — no breaking or knocking down 
will be m order. Another thing to look after is 
the ,ce supply. I will g, <. Nelson to build an 
ice-house directly, and you riust look around for 
the ice. Hav you any idea as to where it can 
be had?" 

"A big company is getting ice on Round Lake 
three miles west, and I suppose they will sell 
you what you want," said Thompson, "and our 
teams can haul it all right. 

"What do you suppose they will charge per 
ton on their platform ? " 

"From twenty.five to forty cents, I reckon." 

"All right, make as good a bargain as you 
can, and attend to it at the best time. When 
the teams are not hauling ice or wood, let them 
draw gravel from French's pit. I' ^iH be hard 
to get it out in the winter, but I guess it can be 
done, and we will need a lot of it on these roads 
Have It dumped at convenient places, and we 
will ;.at it on the drives in the spring. 

"Another thing, — we must have a bridge 
across the brook on each lane. You will find 
timbers and planks enough in the piles from the 
old barns to make good bridges, and the men can 
do the work. Then there is all that wire for the 



1 .!'] 



; l| 



IM 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



inside fences to stretch and staple ; but mind, 
no barbed wire is to be put on top of inside 
fences. 

"These five jobs will keep you busy for the 
next two months, for there'll be only four men 
besides yourself to do them. I am going to set 
Sam at the chicken plant. I'll see you before 
long, and we'll go over the cow and hog plans ; 
but you have your work cut out for the next two 
months. By the way, how much of an ice-house 
shall I need ? " 

« How many cows are you going to milk ? " 

« About forty when we run at full speed ; per- 
haps half that number this year." 

"Well, then you'd better build a house for 
four hundred tons. That won't be too big when 
you are on full time, and it's a mighty bad thing 
to run short of ice." 

I saw Nelson the same day and contracted 
with him for an ice-house capable of holding 
four hundred tons, for 1900. The walls of the 
house to be of three thicknesses of lumber with 
two air spaces (one four inches, the other two) 
without filing. As a result of the conterence 
with Thompson, I had, before the first of March, 
a wood-house full of wood, which seemed a sup- 
ply for two years at full steam; an ice-house 
nearly full of ice ; two serviceable bridges across 
the brook ; the wire fencing almost completed ; 
and eighty loads of gravel, — about one-third of 
what I needed. The whole cash outlay was, 



WINTEE WORK 



105 



300 tons of ice at 30 cenU per ton . . WO.OO 
80 tons of gravel at 23 cents per load , 20.00 

Fence staples 19.00 

Total 1129.00 

The conference with Sam Jones, the hen man, 
was deferred until my next visit, and my plans 
for the cow barn, dairy-house, and hog-house were 
left to Nelson for consideration, he promising to 
give me estimates within a few days. 



!li 



r 






I If 



CHAPTER XVn 

WHAT SHALL WB ASK OP THE HEN 7 

Sam Jones, the chicken-loving man, was as 
pleased as a boy with a new top when 1 began 
to talk of a hen plant. He had a lot of practical 
knowledge of the business, for he h^d faiM in 
It twice; and I could furnish any amount of 
theory, and^enough money to prevent disaster. 

In his previous attempts he had invested nearly 
all his small capital in a plant that might yield 
two hundred eggs a day; he had to buy all foods 
.n small quanti.ies, and therefore at high prices; 
and he had to give his whole time to a business 
which was too small and too much on the hand- 
to-mouth order to give him a living profit. My 
theory of the business was entirely different. I 
could plan for results, and, what was more to the 
point I could wait for them. Mistakes, accidents 
even disasters, were disarmed by a bank account- 
my bread and butter did not depend upon the 
temper of a whimsical hen. The food would 
cost the minimum. All grains and green food, 
and most of the animal food, in the form of skim 
milk, would be furnished by the farm. I meant 
also to develop a plant large enough :, warrant 
the full attention of an able-bodied man. I felt 
10» 



WHAT SHALL WE ASK OF THE HEN 7 107 



no hesitation about this venture, for I did not 
intend to asl{ more of my hens than a well- 
disposed hen ought to be willing to grant. 

I do not ask a hen to lay a double-yolk every 
day in the year. That is too much to expeuf of 
a creature in whom the mother instinct is promi- 
nent, and who wishes also to have a new dress for 
herself at least once in that time. I do not wish 
a hen to work overtime for me. If she will fur- 
nish me with eight dozen of her finished product 
per annum, I will do the rest. Whatever she 
does more than that shall redound to her credit. 
Two-hundred-eggs-a-year hens are scarcer than 
hens with teeth, and I was not looking for the 
unusual. A hen can easily lay one hundred eggs 
in three hundred and sixty-five days, and yet find 
time lor domestic and social affairs. She can 
feel that she is not a subject for charity, while 
at the same time she retains her self-respect as a 
hen of leisure. 

I have the highest regard for this domestic 
fowl, and I would not for a great deal impose a 
too arduous task upon her. I feel like encour- 
aging her in her peculiar industr\', for which she 
is so eminently fitted, but not like forcing her 
into strenuous efforts that would rob her of 
vivacity and dull her social and domestic im- 
pulses. No ; if the hen will politely present me 
with one hundred eggs a year, I will thank her 
and ask no more. Some one will say : " How 
can you make hens pay if they don't lay more 






i., i 



108 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



11 



than eight dozen eggs a year ? Eggs sometimes 
sell as low as twelve cents per dozon." 

Four Oaks hens never have laid one-cent eggs 
and never will. They would quit work if such 
a price were suggested. Ninety per cent of the 
eggs from Four Oaks have sold for thirty cents 
or more per dozen, and the demand is greater 
than the supply. Tha Four Oaks certificate that 
the egg IS not thirty-six hours old when it reaches 
the egg cup, makes two and a half cents look 
small to those wlio can afford to pay for the 
best. To l^ck confidence in the egg is a serious 
matter at the breakfast table, and a person who 
can msure perfect trust will not lack patronage 
If, therefore, a hen will lay eight dozen eggs, she 
IS welcome to say to an acquaintance : « I have 
just handed tlie Headman a two-dollar bill," for she 
knows that I have not paid fifty cents for her food 
Of course the wages of the hen man and his 
food and the interest on the plant must be 
counted, but I do not propose to count them 
twice. Four Oaks is a factory where several 
things are made, each in a measure dependent 
on, and useful to, the others, and we cannot 
Itemize costs of single products because of this 
mutual dependence. I feel certain that I could 
not drop one of the factory's industries without 
loss to each of the others. For this reason I kept 
a very simple set of books. I charged the farm 
with all money spent for it, and credited it with 
all moneys received. Even now I have no very 



WHAT SHALL WE ASK OF THE HEN? 109 

definite knowledge of what it costs to keep a hen, 
a hog, or a cow ; nor do I care. Such data are 
greatly influenced by location, method of getting 
supplies, and market fluctuations. I furnis'i 
most of my food, and my own market. My 
crops have never entirely failed, and I take little 
heed whether they be large or small. They are not 
for sale as crops, but as finished prcd"nts. I am 
not willing to sell them at any price, for I want 
them consumed on the place for thesakeof the land. 
Corn has sold for eighty cents a bushel since I 
began this experiment, yet at that time I fed as 
much as ever and was not tempted to sell a 
bushel, though I could easily have spared five 
thousand. When it went down to twenty-eight 
cents, I did not care, for corn and oats to me are 
simply in transition state, — not commodities to 
be bought or sold. They cost me, one year with 
another, about the same. An abundant harvest 
fills my granaries to overflowing ; a bad harvest 
doesn't deplete them, for I do not sell my surplus 
for fear that I, too, may have to buy out of a 
high market. I have bought corn and outs a few 
times, but only when the price was decidedly be- 
low my idea of the feeding value of these grains. 
I can find more than twenty-eight cents in a 
bushel of corn, and more than eighteen cents in 
thirty-two pounds of oats. But I am away off 
my subject. I began to talk about the hen plant, 
and have wandered to my favorite fad, — the 
factory farm. 



ilfl 



fpl 



CHAPTER XVIII 



WHITE WYAND0TTE8 

" Sam," said I, " I am going to start this poul- 
try plant from just as near the beginning of 
thini^ as possible. I want you to dispose of 
every hen on the place within the next twenty 
days, and to burn everything that has been used 
in connection with them. We've cleared this 
land of disease germs, if there were germs in it, 
by turning it bottom-side up; now let's start 
free from the pestiferous vermin that make a 
hen's life unhappy. No stock, either old or 
young, shall be brought here. When we want 
to change our breeding, we'll buy eggs from the 
best fanciers and hatch them in our own incu- 
bators. It will then be our own fault if we 
don't keep our chickens comfortable and free 
from their enemies. This is sound theory, and 
we'll try how it works out in practice. Cer- 
tainly it will be easier to keep clean if we start 
clean. Not one board or piece of lumber that 
has been used for any other purpose shall find 
place in my hen-houses. Eternal vigilance 
makes a full egg basket ; and a full egg basket 
means a lot of money at the year's end. I will 
no 



WHITE WYAND0TTE8 



111 



never find fault with you for being too careful 
Attend to the details in such way as suits you 
best, provided the result is thorough and ever- 
lasting cleanliness. Nothing leas will win out, 
and notliing less will meet the requirements of 
our factory rules. 

" The first thing to do is to get the incubating 
cellar made. It ought to be four feet in the 
ground and four feet out of it. Make it ten feet 
by fifteen, inside measure, and you can easily 
run five two-hundred-egg inriibators. Build io 
near the south fence in No. 4, — that's the lot for 
the hens. The walls are to be of brick, and we'll 
have a brick floor put in, for it's too cold to con- 
crete it now. Gables are to point east and west, 
and each is to have a window ; put the door in 
the middle of the south wall, and shingle the 
roof. Digging through three feet of frost will 
be hard, but it must be done, and done quickly. 
I want you to start your incubator lamps before 
the 8d of February." 

" I can dig the hole without much trouble, — 
a big fire on the ground for two or three hours 
will help, — and I can put on the roof and do 
all the carpenter work, but I can't lay the 
brick." 

" I'll look out for that part of the job, but I 
want you to see that things are pushed, for I shall 
have a thousand eg^, , here by February 1st and 
another thousand by the 25th, and these eggs 
mean Koney." 



I 






lU 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



'8) 

1! 






in 



ik 



" What do you have to pay for them ? " 
"Ten cents apiece, — #200 for two thousand 
eggs" 

« Well, I should say! Are they hand-painted? 
I wouldn't have had to quit business if I could 
have sold my eggs at a quarter of that price." 

« That's all right, Sam, but you didn't sell 
White Wyandotte eggs for hatchin ;. I've con- 
tracted with two of the best-known fanciers of 
Wyandottes in the country to send me five hun- 
dred eggs apiece February 1st and 26th. I don't 
think the price is high for the stock." 

" Have you decided to keep 'dottes ? I hoped 
you would try Leghorns ; they're great layers." 

"Ye.s, they're great summer layers, but the 
American birds will beat them hollow in winter; 
and I must have as steady a supply of eggs as 
possible. My customers don't stop eating eggs 
in winter, and they'll be willing to pay more for 
them at that season. The Leghorn is too small 
to make a good broiler, and as half the chicks 
come cockerels, we must look out for that." 

"Why do you throw down the Plymouth 
Rocks ? They're bigger than 'dottes, and just as 
good layers." 

«I threw down the barred Plymouth Rocks 
on account of color; I like white hens best. It 
was hard to decide between White Rocks and 
Wyandottes, for there's mighty little difference 
between them as all-around hens. I really think 
I chose the 'dottes because the first reply to my 



WHITE WVAND0TTE8 



113 



letters was from a man who was breeding 
them." 

"They are 'beauts,' ull of them, and I'll give 
them a good clianue to spread themselves," said 
Sam. 

"What percentage of hatch may we expect 
from purchased eggs ? " 

"About sixty chicks out of every hundred 
eggs, I reckon." 

"That would be doing pretty well, wouldn't 
it ? If we had good luck with the sixty chicks, 
how many would grow up ? " 

" Fifty ought to." 

« Of these fifty, can we count on twenty-five 
pullets ? " 

"Yes." 

" That's what I was getting at. You think we 
might, by good luck, raise twenty-five pullets 
from each hundred eggs. I'll cut that in the 
middle and be satisfied with twelve, or even 
with ten. At that rate the two thousand eggs 
that cost 1200 will give me two hundred pullets 
to begin the egg-making next November. That's 
not enough ; we ought to raise just twice that 
number. I'll spend as much more on eggs to be 
hatched by the middle of April or the first of 
May, and then we can reasonably expect to go 
into next winter with four hundred pullets. They 
will cost the farm a dollar apiece, but the farm 
will have four hundred cockerels to sell at fifty 
cents each, which will materially reduce the cost." 



If} 



114 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



"I think you put that pretty low, sir; we 
ought to raise more than four hundred pullets 
out of four thousand eggs." 

« Everything more will be clear gain. I shall 
be satisfied with four hundred. We must also 
get at the brooder house. This is the order in 
which I want the buildings to stand in the 
chicken lot : first, the incubating house, 10 feet 
from the south line; 40 feet north of this the 
brooder house; and 120 feet north of that, the 
first hen-house, with runs 100 feet deep We'll 
build other houses for the birds as we need them 
They are all to face to the south. If the brooder 
house is 50 feet long and 15 feet wide, it can 
easily care for the eight hundred chicks, and for 
half as many more, if we are lucky enough to get 
them. ° 

"We'll have a five-foot walk against the north 
wall of this house, and a ten-foot space north and 
south through the centre for heating plant and 
tood. This will leave a space at each side ten by 
twenty feet, to be cut into five pens four feet 
by ten, each of which will mother a hundred 
chicks or more. There must be plenty of glass 
m the south wall, and we'll use overhead water 
pipes in each hover. 

"There's no hurry about the poultry-houses. 
Vou can build one in the early summer, and per- 
haps another in the fall. I expect you to do the 
carpenter work on these houses. I'll see the 
mason at once and have him ready by the time 



WHITE WYA>: DO TTl'S 



115 



you've dug the hole. The luubators ■..'ill be here 
in good time, and we want vi:-j tling ready for 
work as soon as the eggs arrive." 

Sam was pleased with his job ; it was exactly 
to his liking. He took real delight in caring for 
fowls, and he was especially anxious to prove to 
me that it was not so much lack of knowledge 
as lack of capital that had caused the downfall 
of his previous efforts. Sam could not then 
understand wliy one man could sell his eggs at 
thirty-six cents a dozen when his neighbor could 
get only sixteen ; he found out later. 

The mason's work for the incubator house and 
the foundation wall for the brooder house cost 
$290. The lumber bill for these two, including 
doors and windows, was $464. The five incu- 
bators, $65, and the hot-water heater for the 
brooder house, $68, made the total i*897. Add 
to this $400 paid during two months for eggs, 
and we have $1297 as the cost of starting the 
poultry plant. 



CHAPTER XIX 



FRIED POEK 

I HAD given Nelson this sketch as a guide in 
worliing out the plan for the cow barn : Length 
over all, 130 feet ; width, 40 feet. This parallelo- 
gram was to be divided lengthwise into three 
equal spaces, one in the centre for a driveway, 
and one on each side for the cow platforms and 
feeding mangers. Twenty feet at the west end 
of the barn was partitioned off, one corner for a 
small granary, the other for a kitchen in which 
the food was to be prepared. These rooms were 
each thirteen feet by twenty. At the other end 
of the building, ten feet on each side was given 
over to hospital purposes, — a lying-in ward ten 
feet by thirteen heini^ on each side of the drive- 
way. 

The foundation for this building was to be of 
stone, and the entire floor of cement; and the 
walls were to be sealed within and sheeted with- 
out, and then covered with ship lap boards, mak- 
ing three thicknesses of boards. It was to be 
one story high. An east-and-west passage, cut- 
ting the main drive at right angles, divided the 
barn at its middle. At the south end of this 

116 



FRIED PORK 



ur 



passage was a door leading to the dairy-house, 
which was on the building line 150 feet away. 
The four spaces made by these passages were 
each subdivided irto ten stalls five feet wide. 
Two doors ' ii the north and two on the 
south gave exit for the cows. I had placed 
ray limit at forty milch cows, and I thought this 
stable would furnish suitable quarters for that 
number. If I had to rebuild, I would make some 
modifications. Experience is a good teacher ; but 
the stable has served its purpose, and I cannot 
quarrel with the results. The chief defect is in 
the distribution of water. The supply is abun- 
dant, but it is let on only in the kitchen, whence 
it is supplied to the cows by means of a hose or 
a barrel swung between wheels. 

In the kitchen are appliances for mixing and 
cooking food, and for warming the drinking 
water in winter. Nelson and I discussed the 
sketch plan given below, and he found some 



cow BARN 

MX 110 



TTT 



TT 



y 



IPlTAll 



fault with it. I would not be dissuaded from 
my views, however, and Nelson had to yield. I 
was as opinionated in those days as a theoretical 
amateur is apt to be ; and it was hard to give 



!•! 4 



118 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



J. . 



up my theories at the suggestion of a person who 
had only experience to guide him. The best 
plan, as I have long since learned, is to mix the 
two and use the solid substance that results from 
their combination. 

We located the site of the building, and talked 
plans until the low sun of January 8th disap- 
peared in the west. Then we adjourned to the 
sitting room of the farm-house to finish the 
matter so far as was possible. An hour and a 
half passed, and we were in fair accord, when 
Mrs. Thompson came into the room to say that 
supper was ready, and to ask us to join the men 
at table before starting homeward. I was glad 
of the opportunity, for I was curious to know if 
Mrs. Thompson set a good table. We went into 
the dining room jusu as the farm family was 

ready to sit down. There were ten of us, two 

women, six men. Nelson, and myself ; and as we 
sat down, I noticed with pleasure that each had 
evidently taken some thought of the obligations 
which a table ought to imj ose. The table was 
clothed in clean white, and tliere was a napkin 
at each plate. Nelson and I had the only per- 
fectly fresh ones, and this I took as evidence that 
napkins were usual. The food was all on the 
table, and was very satisfactory to look at. 
Thompson sat at one end, and before him, on a 
great platter, lay two dozen or more pieces of fried 
salt pork, crisp in their shells of browned flour, 
and fit for a king. On one side of the platter 



FRIED PORK 



119 



was a heaping dish of steaming potatoes. A 
knife had been drawn once around each, just to 
give it a chance to expand and show mealy white 
between the gaping circles that covered its bulk. 
At the other side was a boat of milk gravy, 
which had followed the pork into the frying-pan 
and had come forth Rt company for the boiled 
potatoes. I went back forty years at one jump, 
and said, — 

" I now renew my youth. Is there anything 
better under the sun than fried salt pork and 
milk gravy ? If there is, don't tell me of it, for 
I have worshipped at this shrine for forty years, 
and my faith must not be shaken." 

Such a supper twice or thrice a week would 
warm the cockles of my old heart; but Polly 
says, « No modern cook can make these things 
just right ; and if not just right, they are horrid." 
That is true ; it takes an artist or a mother to 
fry salt pork and make milk gravy. 

There were other things on the table, — quan- 
tities of bread and butter, apple sauce (in a dish 
that would liold half a peck), stacks of fresh gin- 
ger-bread, tea, and great pitchers of milk; but 
naught could distract my attention from the 
piece de risistcmce. Thrice I sent my plate back, 
and then could do no more. That meal con- 
vinced me that I could trust Mrs. Thompson. 
A woman who could fry salt pork as my mother 
did, was a woman to be treasured. 

I left the farm-house at 7, and reached home 



lao 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



by 8.45. Polly was not quite pleased with my 
late hours ; she said it did not worry her not to 
know where I was, but it was annoying. 

« Can't you have a telephone put into the farm- 
house? It would be convenient in a lot of 
ways." 

" Why, of course ; I don't see why it can't be 
done at once. I'll make application this very 
night." 

It was six weeks before we really got a wire 
to the farm, but after that we wondered how we 
ever got along without it. 



iili* 



CHAPTER XX 



A RATION FOE PBODtTCT 



Nelson was to commence work on the cow- 
house at once ; at least, the mason was. I left 
the job as a whole to Nelson, and he made some 
sort of contract with the mason. The agreement 
was that I should pay $4260 for the barn com- 
plete. The machinery we put into it was very 
simple, — a water heater and two cauldrons for 
cooking food. All three cost about f60. 

Thompson had selected six cows, from those 
bought with the place, as worth wintering. They 
were now giving iiom six to eight quarts each, 
and were due to come in in April and May. An 
eight-quart-a-day cow was not much to my lik- 
ing, but Thompson said that with good care they 
would do better in the spring. " Four of those 
cows ought to make fine milkers," he said ; « they 
are built for it, — long bodies, big bags, milk 
veins that stand out like crooked welts, light 
shoulders, slender necks, and lean heads. They 
are young, too ; and if you'll dehorn them, I 
believe they'll make your thoroughbreds hump 
themselves to keep up with them at the milk 
pail. You see, these cows never had more than 

121 



132 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



iki 



half a chance to show what they could do. They 
have never been ' fed for milk." Farmers don't 
do that much. They think that if a cow doesn't 
bawl for food or drink she has enough. I sup- 
pose she has enough to keep her from starving, 
and perhaps enough to hold her in fair condition, 
but not enough to do this and fill the milk pail, 
too. I read somewhere about a ration for < main- 
tenance ' and one for ' product,' and there was a 
deal of difference. Most farmers don't pay much 
attention to these things, and I guess that's one 
reason why they don't get on faster." 

"You've got the whole matter down fine in 
that ' ration for product,' Thompson, and that's 
what we want on this farm. A ration that will 
simply keep a cow or a hen in good health 
leaves no margin for profit. Cows and hens are 
machines, and we must treat them as such. 
Crowd in the raw material, and you may look 
for large results in finished product. The ques- 
tion ought always to be, How much can a cow 
eat and drink ? not. How little can she get on 
with ? Grain and forage are to be turned into 
milk, and the more of these foods our cows eat, 
the better we like it. If these machines work 
imperfectly, we must get rid of them at once 
and at any price. It will not pay to keep a 
cow that persistently falls below a high standard. 
We waste time on her, and the smooth running 
of the factory is interrupted. I'm going to place 
a standard on this farm of nine thousand pounds 



A RATION FOB PRODUCT 



123 



a year for each matured cow; I don't think 
that too high. If a cow fulls much below that 
amount, she must give place to a better one, for 
I'm not making this experiment entirely for my 
health. The standard isn't too high, yet it's 
enough to give a fine i)rofit. It means at least 
three hundred and fifty pounds of butter a year, 
and in this case the butter means at least thirty 
cents a pound, or more than IIOO a year for 
each cow. This is all profit, if one wishes to 
figure it by itself, for the skimmed milk will 
more than pay for the food and csre. But why 
did you say dehorn the cows ? " 

"Well, I notice that a man with a club is 
almost sure to find some use for it. If he isn't 
pounding the fence or throwing it at a dog, he's 
snipping daisies or knocking the heads off bull- 
thistles. He's always doi s something with it 
just because he has it in his hand. It's the same 
way with a cow. If she has horns, she'll use 
them in some way, and they take her mind off 
her business. No, sir ; a cow will do a lot better 
without horns. There's mighty little to distract 
her attention when her clubs are gone." 

"What breeds of cows have you handled, 
Thompson 1 " 

"Not any thoroughbreds that I know of; 
mostly common kinds and grade Jerseys or 
Holsteins." 

"I'm going to put a small herd of thorough 
bred Holsteins on the place." 



m 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



"Why don't you try thoroughbred Jerseys' 
They'll give as much butter, and they won't eat 
more than half as much." 

"You don't quite catch my idea, Thon.pson. 
I want the cow that will eat the most, if she is, 
at the same time, willing to pay for her fu ^d. I 
mean to raise a lot of food, and I want a home 
market for it. What comes from the land must 
go bu. to it, or it will grow thin. The Holstein 
will eat more than tiie Jersey, and, while she may 
not make more butter, she will give twice as 
much skimmed milk and furnish more fertilizer 
to return to the land. Tiosh skimmed milk is a 
food greatly to be jn.zed by tiie factory-farm 
man ; and when we run at full speed, we shall 
have three hundred thousand pounds of it to 
feed. 

« 1 have purchased twenty three-year-old Hol- 
stein cows, in calf to advanced registry bulls, 
and they are to be delivered to me March 10. I 
shall want you to go and fetch them. I also 
bought a young bull from the same herd, but 
not from the same breeding. These twenty-one 
animals will cost, by the time they get h'sre, 
§2200. I shall give the lull to my neighbor 
Jackson. He will be proud to have it, and I 
shall be relieved of the care of it. Be good to 
your neighbor, Thompson, if by so doing you 
can increase the effectiveness of the factory farm. 
We will start the dairy with twenty thorough- 
breds and six scrubs. I shall probab? ■ buy and 



A RATION FOE PRODUCT 



125 



sell from time to time ; but of one thing I am 
certain : if a cow cannot make our standard, 
she goes to the butcher, be she mongrel or thor- 
ough-bred. What do you think of Judson as a 
probable dairyman ? " 

" I shouldn't wonder if he would do first-rate. 
He's a quiet fellow, and cows like that. He has 
those roans tagging him all over the place ; and 
if a horse likes a man, it's because he's nice and 
quiet in his ways. I notice that he can milk a 
cow quicker than the other men, and it ain't 
because he don't milk dry — I sneaked after 
him twice. The cow just gives down for him 
better than for the others." 



CHAPTER XXI 



THE BAZORBACK 



Ifi 



Wk have now launched three of the four prin- 
cipal industries of our fanto-.y farm. The fourth 
is perhaps t^^e most important of all, if a single 
member of a group of mutually dependent indus- 
tries can have this distinction. There is no ques- 
tion that the farmer's best friend is the hog. 
He will do more for him and ask less of him than 
any other animal. All he asks is to he born. 
That is enough for this non-ruminant quadruped, 
who can find his livii.g in the earth, the roadside 
ditch, or the forest, and who, out of a supply of 
grass, roots, or mast, can furnish ham and bacon 
to the king's taste and the poor man's mainte- 
nance. The half-wild razorback, with never a 
clutch of corn to his back, gives abundant food 
to the mountaineer over whose forest he ranges. 
The cropped or slit ear is the only evidence of 
human care or human ownership. He lives the 
life of a wild beast, and in the autumn he dies 
the death of a wild beast ; while his flesh, made 
rich with juices of acorns, beechnuts, and other 
sweet masts, nourishes a man whose only exercise 
of ownership is slaughter. The hog that can 
make his own living, run like a deer, and drink 

126 



THE EAZORBACK 



127 



out of a jug, has done more for the pioneer and 
the backwoodsman than any other animal. 

Take this semi-wild beast away from his wild 
haunts, give him food and care, and he will 
double his gifts. Add a hundred generations of 
careful selection, until his form is so changol 
that it is beyond recognition, and again the prod- 
uct will 1)0 doubled. The spirit of swine is not 
changed by civilization or good breeding; such 
as it was on that day when the herd " ran down 
a steep place and was drowned in the sea," such 
it is to-day. A fixed determination to have its 
own way dominated the creature then, and a 
pig-headed desire to be the greatest food-produc- 
ing machine in the world is its ruling passiun 
now. That the hog has succeeded in this is beyond 
question ; for no other food animal can increase 
its own weight one hundred and fifty fold in the 
first eieht um rAha of its life. 

All .1 • orld there is a growing fondness 

for swine fiesh, and the ever increasing supply 
doesn't outrun the demand. Since the disper- 
sion of the tribes of Israel there has been no 
persistent effort to depopularize this wonderful 
food maker. Pig has more often been the food 
of the poor than of the rich, but now rich and 
poor alike do it honor. Old Ben Joiison said : — 

" Now pig is meat, and a meat that is nourish- 
ing and may be desired, and consequently eaten : 
it may be eaten ; yea, very exceedingly well 
eaten." 



128 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



Hundreds have praised the rasher of ham, and 
thousands the flitch of bacon ; it took the stroke 
of but one pen to make roast pig classical. 

The pig of to-day is so unlike his distant pro- 
genitor that he would not be recognized ; if by 
any chance he were recognized, it would be only 
with a grunt of scorn for his unwieldy shape 
and his unenterprising spirit. Gone are the 
fleet legs, great head, bulky snout, terrible jaws, 
warlike tusks» open nostrils, flapping ears, gaunt 
flanks, and racing sides ; and with these has gone 
everything that told of strength, freedom, and 
wild life. In their place has come a cuboidal 
mass, twice as long as it is broad or high, with 
a place in front for mouth and eyes, and a fool- 
ish-looking leg under each corner. A mighty 
fall from " freedom's lofty heights," but a won- 
derfully improved machine. The modern hog is 
to his progenitor as the man with the steam- 
hammer to the man with the stone-hammer, 

infinitely more useful, though not so free. 

It is not easy to overestimate the value of 
swine to the general farmer ; but to the factory 
farmer they are indispensable. They furnish a 
profitable market for much that could not be 
sold, and they turn this waste material into a 
surprising lot of money in a marvellously short 
time. A pig should reach his market before he 
is nine months old. From the time he is new- 
born until he is 250 days old, he should gain at 
least one pound a day, which means five cents, 



THE EAZOEBACK 



129 



in ordinary times. During this time he has 
eaten, of tilings which might possibly have been 
sold, perhaps five dollars' worth. At 250 days, 
with a gain of one pound a day, he is worth, one 
year with another, 112.50. This is putting it 
too low for my market, but it gives a profit of 
not less tlian $6 a head after paying freight and 
commissions. It is, then, only a question of how 
many to keep and how to keep them. To answer 
the first half of this question I would say. Keep 
just as many as you can keep well. It never 
pays to keep stock on half rations of food or 
care, and pigs are not exceptions. In answering 
the other half of the question, how to keep them, 
I shall have to go into details of the first build- 
ing of a piggery at Four Oaks. 

As in the case of the hens, I determined to 
start clean. Hogs had been kept on the farm 
for years, and, so far as I could learn, there had 
been no epizootic disease. The swine had had 
free range most of the time, and the specimens 
which I bought were healthy and as well grown 
as could be e^iLpected. They were not what I 
wanted, either in breed or in development, so 
they had been disposed of, all but two. These 
I now consigned to the tender care of the butcher, 
and ordered the sty in which they had been kept 
to be burned. 

I had planned to devote lot No. 2 to a pig- 
gery. There are five acres in this lot, and I 
thought it large enough to keep four or five 



130 



THE FAT 0^ THE LAND 






hundred pigs of all sizes in good health and good 
condition for forcing. Some of the swine, not 
intended for market, would have more liberty ; 
but close confinement in clean pens and small 
runs was to be the rule. To crowd hogs in this 
way, and at the s.ime time to keep them free from 
disease, would require special vigilance. The ordi- 
nary diseases that come from damp and draughts 
could be fended off by carefully constructed 
buildings. Cleanliness and wholesome food ought 
to do much, rfnd isolation should accomplish the 
rest. I have established a perfect quarantine 
about my hog lot, and it has never been broken. 
After the first invoices of swine in the winter 
and spring of 1896, no hog, young or old, has 
entered my piggery, save by the way of a sixty- 
day quarantine in the wood lot, and very few 
by that way. 

My pigs are several hundred yards from the 
public roads, and my neighbor, Jackson, has 
planted a young orchard on his land to the north 
of my hog lots, and permits no hogs in this 
planting. I have thus secured practical isolation. 
I have rarely sent swine to fairs or stock shows. 
In the few instances in which I have broken this 
rule I have sold the stock shown, never return- 
ing it to Four Oaks. 

Isolation, cleanliness, good food, good water, 
and a constant supply of ashes, charcoal, and 
salt, have kept my herd (thus far) from those 
dreadfully fatal diseases that destroy so many 



THE RAZORBACK 



131 



swine. If I can keep the specific micro-organism 
that causes hog-cholera off my place, I need not 
fear the disease. The same is true of swine 
plague. These diseases are of bacterial origin, 
and are communicated by the transference of 
bacteria from the infected to the non-infected. 
I propose to keep my healthy herd as far re- 
moved as possible from all sources of infection. 
I have carried these precautions so far that I 
am often scoffed at. I require my swineherd, 
when returning from a fair or a stock show, t^ 
take a full bath and to disinfect his clothing 
before stepping into the pig-house. This may 
seem an unnecessary refinement in precautionary 
measures, but I do not think so. It has served 
me well : no case of cholera or plague has shown 
itself at Four Oaks. 

What would I do if disease should appear? 
I do not know. I think, however, that I should 
fight it as hard as possible at close quarters, 
killing the seriously ill, and burning all bodies. 
After the scourge had passed I would dispose of 
all stock as best I could, and then burn the 
entire plant (fences and all), plough deep, cover 
the land white as snow with lime, leave it until 
spring, plough again, and sow to oats. During 
the following summer I would rebuild my plant 
and start afresh. A whole year would be lost, 
and some good buildings, but I think it would 
pay in the end. There would be no safety for 
the herd while a single colony of cholera or 



132 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



plague bacteria was harbored on the place ; and 
while neither might, for years, appear in virulent 
form, yet there would be constant small losses 
and constant anxiety. One cannot afford either 
of these annoyances, and it is usually wise to 
take radical measures. If we apply sound busi- 
ness rules to farm management, we shall at least 
deserve success. 

I chose to keep thoroughbred swine for the 
reason that all the standard varieties are reason- 
ably certain to breeu true to a type which, in 
each breed, i^ as near pork-making perfection as 
the wider< experience can make it. Most of our 
good hog. are bred from English or Chinese 
stock. Modifications by climate, care, crossing, 
and wise selection have procured a number of 
excellent varieties, wliich are distinct enough to 
warrant separate names, but which are nearly 
equal as pork-makers. 

In color one could choose between black, black 
and white, and white and red. I wanted white 
swine ; not because they are better than swine of 
other colors, for I do not think they are, but for 
aesthetic reasons. My poultry was to be white, 
and white predominated in my cows ; why 
should not my swine be white also, — or as 
white as their habits would permit ? I am told 
on all sides that the black hog is the hardiest, 
that it fattens easier, and that for these reasons 
it is a better all-round hog. This may be true, 
but I am content with my white ones. When 



THE RAZOKBACK 



133 



some neighbor takes a better bunch of hogs to 
market, or gets a better price for them, than I 
do, I may be persuaded to think as lie talks. 
Thus far I have sold close to .he top of the mar- 
ket, and my hogs are never left over. 

Perhaps my hogs eat more than those of my 
neighbors. I hope they do, for they weigh more, 
on a " weight for age " scale, and I do not think 
they are "air crammed," for "you cannot fatten 
capons so." I am more than satisfied with my 
Chester Whites. They have given me a fi- 
profit each year, and I should be ungrateful if i 
did not speak them fair. 

I wished to get the hog industry started on a 
liberal scale, and scoured the country, by letter, 
for the neces-sary animals. I found it difficult 
to get just what I wanted. Perhaps I wanted 
too much. This is what I asked for: A regis- 
tered young sow due to farrow her second litter 
in March or April. By dint of much correspond- 
ence and a considerable outlay of money, I finally 
secured nineteen animals that answered the re- 
quirements. I got them in twos and threes from 
scattered sources, and they cost an average price 
of 131 per head delivered at Four Oaks. A 
young boar, bred in the purple, cost §27. My 
foundation herd of Chester Whites thus cost me 
f614, — too much for an economical start; but, 
again, I was in a hurry. 

The hogs began to arrive in February, and were 
put into temporary quarters pending the building 



v'l 

t: 



1S4 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



of the house for the brood sows, v, hich house 
must now be described. 

It was a low building, 150 by 30 feet, divided 
by a six-foot alley-way into halves, each 150 by 
12 feet. Each of these halves was again divided 
into fifteen pens 10 by 12 feet, with a 10 by 30 
run for each pen. This was the general plan for 
the brood-house for thirty sows. At the east end 
of this house was a room 16 by 30 feet for cook- 
ing food and storing supplies for a few days. 
The building was of wood with plank floors. 
It stands ihere yet, and has answered its pur- 
pose ; but it was never quite satisfactory. I 
wanted cement floors and a more sightly build- 
ing. I shall probably replace it next year. 
When it was built the weather was unfavorable 
for laying cement, and I did not wish to wait 
for a more clement season. The house and the 
fences for the runs cost $2100. 

On the 6th of March Thompson called me to 
one of the temporary pens and showed me a 
family of the prettiest new-born animals in the 
world, — a fine litter of no less than nine new- 
farrowed pigs. I felt that the fourth industry 
was fairly launched, and that we could now work 
and wait. 



si ii 



CHAPTER XXII 



THE OLD OHCHABD 

March was unusually raw even for that un- 
cooked month. The sun had to cross the line 
before it could make much impression on the 
deep frost. After the 15th, however, we began 
to find evidences that things were stirring below 
ground. The red and yellow willows took on 
brighter colors, the bark of the dogwood assumed 
a higher tone, and the catkins and lilac buds be- 
gan to swell with the pride of new sap. 

If our old orchard was to be pruned while 
dormant, it must be done at once. Thompson and 
I spent five days of hard work among the trees, 
cutting out all dead limbs, crossing branches, and 
suckers. We called the orchard old, but it was 
so only by comparison, for it was not out of its 
teens ; and I did not wish to deal harshly with 
it. A good many unusual things were being 
done for it in a short time, and it was not wise 
to carry any one of them too far. It had been 
fertilized and ploughed in the fall, and now it was 
to be pruned and sprayed, — all innovations. The 
trees were well grown and thrifty. They had 
given a fair crop of fruit last year, and they 

136 



■n 



3 



196 



THE F^ " OF THE LAND 



m 



'il 



were well worth considerable attention. They 
could not hereafter be cultivated, for they were 
all in the soiling lot for the cows, but they could 
be pruned and sprayed. The lack of cultivation 
would be compensated by the fertilization inci- 
dent to a feeding lot. The trees would give 
shade and comfort to the cows, while the cows 
fed and nourished the trees, — a fair exchange. 

The crop of the year before, though half 
the apples were stung, had brought nearly $800. 
With better care, and consequently better fruit, 
we could cbunt on still better results, for the 
varieties were excellent (Baldwins, Jonathans, 
and Rome Beauties); so we trimmed carefully 
and burned the rubbish. This precaution, 
especially in the case of dead limbs, is impor- 
tant, for most dead wood in young trees is due 
to disease, often infectious, and should be burned 
at once. 

I bought a spraying-pump (for fl3), which 
was fitted to a sound oil barrel, and we 
were ready to make the first attack on fungus 
disease with the Bordeaux mixture. This was 
done by Johnson and Anderson late in the month. 
Another vigorous spraying with the same mixture 
when the buds were swelling, another when the 
fiower petals were falling, and still another when 
the fruit was as large as peas (the last two spray- 
ings had Paris green added to the Bordeaux 
mixture), and the fight against apple enemies 
was ended for that year. 






THIi OLD ORCHAED 



137 



Thompson had gone for the cows. He left 
March 9, and returned with the beauties on 
Friday the 17th. They were all my fancy had 
painted them, — large, gentle-eyed, with black 
and white hair over soft butter-yellow skin, and all 
the points that distinguish these marvellous milk- 
machines. They were bestowed as needs must 
until the cow barn was completed. One of 
them had dropped a bull calf two days before 
leaving the home farm. The calf had been left, 
and the mother was in an uncomfortable condi- 
tion, Vvith a greatly distended udder and milk 
streaming from her four teats, though Thompson 
had relieved her thrice while en route. 

I was greatly pleased with the cows, but must 
not spend time on them now, for things are hap- 
pening in my factory faster than I can tell of 
them. Johnson had built some primitive hot- 
beds for early vegetables out of old lumber and 
oiled muslin. He had filled them with refuse 
from the horse stable and had sown his seeds. 



•S, 



♦••i 



CHAPTER XXIII 



TBB FIBST HATOH 

On February 8 the incubator lamps were 
lighted under the first invoice of one thousand 
eggs. The, incubating cellar was to Sam's liking, 
and he felt confident that three weeks of strict 
attention to temperature, moisture, and the turn- 
ing of eggs, would bring results beyond my 
expectations. 

After the seventh day, on which he had tested 
or candled the eggs^ he was willing to promise 
almost anything in the way of a hatch, up to 
seventy-five or eighty per cent. In the intervals 
of attendance on the incubators he was hard at 
work on the brooder-house, which must be ready 
for its first occupants by the 25th. Everything 
went smoothly until the 18th. That morning 
Sam met me with a long face. 

"Something went wrong with one of my 
lamps last night," said " e. "I looked at them 
at ten o'clock and they were all right, but at 
six this morning one of the thermometers was 
registering 122°, and the whole batch was 
cooked." 

" Not the whole thousand, Sam ! " 

138 



THE FIRST HATCH 



130 



«No, but 170 fertile eggs, and that spoils 
a twenty-dollar bill and a lot of good time. 
What in the name of the black man ever got 
into that lamp of mine is more than I know. 
It's just my luck I " 

"It's everybody's luck who tries to raise 
chickens by wholesale, and we must copper it. 
Don't be downed by the first accident, Sam ; 
keep fighting and you'll win out." 

The brooder-house was ready when the first 
chicks picked the shells on the 24th, and 
within thirty-six hours we had 603 little 
white balls of fluff to transfer from the four 
incubators to the brooder-house. We put about 
a hundred together in each of five brooders, 
fed them cut oats and wheat with a little coarse 
com meal and all the fresh milk they could drink, 
and they throve mightily. 

The incubators were filled again on the 26th, 
and from that hatch we got 552 chicks. On the 
21st of March they were again filled, and on 
the 13th of April we had 477 more to add to 
the colony in the brooder-house. For the last time 
we started the lamps April 16th, and on the 6th 
of May we closed the incubating cellar and found 
that 2109 chicks had been hatched from the 
4000 eggs. The last hatch was the best of 
all, giving 607. I don't think we have ever had 
as good results since, though to tell the truth I 
have not attempted to keep an exact count of 
eggs incubated. My opinion is that fifty per 



140 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



cent is a very good average hatch, and that one 
should not expect more. 

In September, when the young birds were 
separated, the census report was 728 pullets and 
764 cockerels, showing an infant mortality of 
622, or twenty-nine per cent. The ac. lents 
and vicissitudes of early chickenhood are serious 
matters to the unmothered chii k, and tliey must 
not be overlooked by the breeder who figures his 
profits on paper. 

After the first year I kept no tabs on the 
ohickens hatch, I ; my desire was to add each 
year 600 pullots to my flock, and after the third 
season to Uspose of as many hens. It doesn't 
pay to i:ejp hens that are more than two and a 
half years old. I have kept from 1200 to 1600 
laying hens for the past six years. I do not 
know what it costs to feed one or all of them, 
but I do know what moneys I have received for 
eggs, young cockerels, and old hens, and I am 
satisfied. 

There is a big profit in keeping hens for eggs 
if the conditions are right and the industry is 
followed, in a businesslike way, in connection 
with other lines of business ; that is, in a factory 
farm. If one had to devote his whole time to 
the care of his plant, and were obliged to buy 
almost every morsel of food which the fowls 
ate, and if his market were distant and not of 
the best, I doubt of great success ; but with food 
at the lowest and product at the highest, you 



THE FIRST HATCH 



141 



cannot help making good money. I Ho not 
think I have paid for food used for my fowls in 
any one year more than 1600 ; grits, shells, meat 
meal, and oil meal will cover the list. I do not 
wish to induce any man or woman to enter this 
business on account of the glowing statements 
which these pages contain. I am ideally situ- 
ated. I am near one of the best markets for fine 
food ; I can sell all the eggs my hens will lay at 
high prices; food costs the minimum, for it 
comes from my own farm ; I utilize skim-milk, 
the by-product from another profitable industry, 
to great advantage ; and I had enough money to 
carry me safely to the time of product. In other 
words, I could build my factory before I needed 
to look to it for revenue. I do not claim that this 
is the only way, but I do claim that it is the 
way for the fore-handed middle-aged man who 
wishes to change from city to country life with- 
out financial loss. Younger people with less 
means can accomplish the same results, but they 
must offset money by time. The principle of 
the factory farm will hold as well with the one as 
with the other. 

To intensify farming is the only way to get 
the fat of the land. The nations of the old 
world have nearly reached their limit in food 
production. They are purchasers in the open 
market. This country must be that market ; 
and it behooves us to look to it that the market 
be well stocked. There is land enough now and 



I 
1^ 



142 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



to spare, but will it be so fifty or a hundred 
years hence? Our arid lands will be made 
fertile by irrigation, but they will add only a 
small percentage to the amount already in quasi- 
cultivation. Our future food supplies must be 
drawn largely from the six million farms now 
under fences. These farms must be made to 
yield fourfold their present product, or they 
will fall short, not only of the demands made 
upon them, but also of their possibilities. That 
is why I preach the gospel of intensive farming, 
for grain, hay, market, and factory farm alike. 

I will put the chickens out of the way for the 
present, referring to them from time to time and 
indicating their general management, the cost 
of their houses and food, and the amount of 
money received for eggs and fowls. I do not 
think my plant would win the approval of fan- 
ciers, and it is not in all ways up to date ; but 
it is clean, healthy, and commodious, and the 
birds attend as strictly to business as a reason- 
able owner could wish. I shall be glad to show 
it to any one interested enough to search it out, 
and to go into the details of the business and 
show how I have been able to make it so 
remunerative. 

Sam is with me no longer. For three years 
he did good service and saved money, and the 
lurid nose grew dim. There is, however, a 
limit to human endurance. Like victims of other 
forms of circular insanity, the dipsomaniac com- 



THE FIRST HATCH 



143 



pletes his cycle in an uncertain period and falls 
upon bad times. For a month before we parted 
company I saw signs of relapse in Sam. He 
was loquacious at times, at other times morose. 
He talked about going into business for himself, 
and his nose took on new color. I labored 
with him, but to no purpose ; the spirit of un- 
rest was upon him, and it had to work its own. 
I held him firm long enough to secure another 
man, and then we parted, he to do business for 
himself, I to get on as best I could. Sam 
painted his nose and raised chickens and other 
things until his savings had flown ; then he got 
a position with a woman who runs a broiler 
plant, and for two years he has given good 
service. He will probably continue in ways of 
well-doing until the next cycle is complete, when 
the beacon light will blaze afresh and he will 
follow it on to the rocks. Such a man is more 
to be pitied than condemned, for his anchor is 
sure to drag at times. 



CHAPTER XXIV 



THB HOL8TSIN MILK MACHINB 



DuBiNQ the month of March the teams hauled 
more grcvel. They also distributed the manure 
that had b^en purchased in the fall for mulching 
the trees. While the ground was still frozen this 
mulch was placed near the trees, to be used as 
soon as the sun had warmed the earth. The 
mound of dirt at the base of each tree was of 
course levelled down before this dressing was 
applied. I never afterward purchased stable or 
stock-yard manure, though I could often have 
used it to advantage ; for I did not think it safe 
to purchase this kind of fertilizer for a farm where 
large numbers of animals are kept. The danger 
from infection is too great. Large quantities of 
barnyard manure were furnished yearly out of my 
own pits, and I supplemented it with a good 
deal of the commercial variety. I try to turn 
back to the land each year more than I take 
from it, but I do not dare to go to a stock-yard for 
any part of my supply. It was not until I had 
mentally established a quarantine for my hogs 
that I realized the danger from those six car- 
loads of manure; and I promised myself then 

144 



THE HOLSTEIN MILK MACHINE 145 






that no such breach of quarantine should again 
occur. 

The cows arrived on St. Patrick's Day. Our 
herd was then composed of the twenty Holstein 
heifers (coming three years old), and six of the 
best of the common cows purchased with the 
farm. Within forty days the herd was increased 
by the addition of twenty-three calves. Twenty- 
five were born, but two were dead. Of this 
number, eighteen were Holsteins eligible for 
registration, ten heifers, and eight bulls. Each 
calf was taken from its mother on the third day 
and fed warm skim-milk from a patent feeder 
three times a day, all it would drink. When 
three weeks old, seven of the Holstein calves 
and the five from the common cows were sent 
to market. They brought $5.25 each above the 
expense of selling, or 163 for the bunch. The 
ten Holstein heifer calves were of course held ; 
and one bull calf, which had a double cross of 
Pieterje 2d and Pauline Paul, and which seemed 
an unusually fair specimen, was kept for further 
development. 

The cow barn was finished about April 1st, 
and shortly after that the herd was established 
in permanent quarters. As the dairy-house was 
unfinished, and there was no convenient way of 
disposing of the milk which now flowed in abun- 
dance, I bought a separator (for $200) and sent 
the cream to a factory, using the fresh skim-milk 
for the calves and young pigs and chickens. 



146 



THB PAT OF THE LAND 



Hi 



4 

1* 



From March 22, when I began to sell, until 
May 10, when my dairy-house was in working 
order, I received $203 for cream. Thompson had 
sold milk from the old cows, from August to 
December, 1895, to the amount of «132. This 
item should have been entered on the credit side 
for the last year, but as it was not, we will 
make a note of it here. These are the only 
sales of milk and cream made from Four Oaks 
since I bought the land. 

The milk supply from my herd started out 
at a tremendous rate, consiU^ ring the age of the 
cows. It must be borne in mind that none of 
the thoroughbreds was within three years of 
her (probable) best ; yet they were doing nobly, 
one going as high as fifty-two pounds of milk in 
one day, and none falling below thirty-six as a 
maximum. The common cows did nearly as 
well at first, four of them giving a maximum of 
thirty-two pounds each in twenty-four hours. 
It was easy to see the difference between the 
two sorts, however. The old ones had reached 
maturity and were doing the best they could ; 
the others were just beginning to manufacture 
milk, and were building and regulating their 
machinery for that purpose. The Holsteins, 
though young, were much larger than the old 
cows, and were enormous feeders. A third or a 
half more food passed their great, coarse mouths 
than their less aristocratic neighbors could be 
coaxed to eat. Food, of course, 's the one 



THE HOLSTEIN MILK MACHINE 147 

thing that will make milk ; other things being 
equal, then the cow that consumes the most 
food will produce the most milk. This is 
the secret of the Holsteins' wonderful capacity for 
assimilating enormous quantities of food without 
retaining it under their hides in the shape of fat. 
They have been bred for centuries with the 
milk product in view, and they have become 
notable machines for that purpose. They are 
not the cows for people to keep who have to 
buy feed in a high market, for they are not easy 
keepers in any sense; but for the farmer who 
raises a lot of grain and roughage which should 
be fed at his own door, tliey are ideal. They 
will eat much and return much. 

As to feeding for milk, I have followed nearly 
the same plan through my whole experiment. 
I keep an abundance of roughage, usually 
shredded corn, before the cows all the time. 
When it has been picked over moderately well, 
it is thrown out for bedding, and fresh fodder 
is put in its place. The finer forages, timothy, 
red-top, clover, alfalfa, and oat straw, are always 
cut fine, wetted, and mixed with grain before 
feeding. This food is given three times a day 
in such quantities as will be eaten in forty-five 
minutes. Green forage takes the place of dry 
in season, and fresh vegetables are served three 
times a week in winter. The grain ration is about 
as follows : By weight, corn and cob meal, three 
parts ; oatmeal, three parts ; bran, three parts ; 



14S 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 












gluten meal, two parts ; linseed meal, one part. 
The cash outlay for a ton of this mixture is 
about 112 ; this price, of course, does not include 
corn and oats, furnished by the farm. A Holstein 
cow can digest fifteen pounds of this grain a day. 
This means about two and a half tons a year, 
with a cash outlay of f 80 per annum for each 
head. Fresh water is always given four times 
a day, and much of the time the cows have ready 
access to it. In cold weather the water is 
warmed to about 65° F. The cows are let out 
in a twenty-acre field for exercise every day, 
except in case of severe storms. They are fed 
forage in the open when the weather is fine and 
insects are not troublesome, and they sometimes 
sleep in the open on hot nights ; but by far the 
largest part of their time is spent in their own 
stalls away from chilling winds and biting flies. 
In their stables they are treated much as fine 
horses are, — well bedded, well groomed, and well 
cared for in all ways. 

A quiet, darkened stable conduces rumination. 
Loud talking, shouting, or laughing are not 
looked upon with favor =n our cow bam. On 
the otlier hand, continuous sounds, if at all melo- 
dious, seem to soothe the animals and increase 
the milk flow. Judson, who has proved to be 
our best herdsman, has a low croon in his 
mouth all the time. It can hardly be called 
a tune, though I believe he has faith in it, but 
it has a fetching way with the herd. I have 



THE HOLSTEIN MILK MACHINE 149 

never known him to be quick, sharp, or loud 
with the cows. When things go w;ong, the 
croonrng ceases. When it is resumed, all U 
well ,n the cow world. The other man, French, 
who .s an excellent milker, and who stands 
well with the cows, has a half hiss, half 
whist e, such as English stable-boys use, except 
that It runs up and down five notes and is lost 
at each end The cows like it and seem to ad- 
mire French for his accomplishment even more 
than Judson, for they follow his movements with 
evident pleasure expressed in their great ox eyes. 
Rigid rules of cleanliness are carried out in 
every detail with the greatest exactness. The 
house and the animals are cared for all the time 
as If on inspection. Before milking, the udders 
are carefully brushed and washed, and the milker 
covers himself entirely with a clean apron. As 
each cow is milked, the milker hangs the pail on 
a spring balance and registers the exact weight 

.T * i^u^^^'^- "" ^^^^ ««"•'«« the milk 
through the door that leads to the dairy-house 
and pours it into a tank on wheels. This ends 
h^ responsibility. The dairymaid is then in 



CHAPTER XXV 



THE DAIBTMAID 

Of course I had trouble in getting a dairy- 
maid, t was not looking for the bouncing, 
buxom, red-cheeked, arms-akimbo, butter-colored- 
hair sort. I didn't care whether she were red- 
cheeked and bouncing or not, but for obvious 
reasons I didn't want her hair to be butter-col- 
ored. What I did want was a woman who un- 
derstood creamery processes, and who could and 
would make the very giltest of gilt-edged butter. 

I commenced looking for my paragon in Janu- 
ary. I interviewed applicants of both sexes and 
all nationalities, but there was none perfect; 
no, not one. I was not exactly discouraged, but 
I certainly began to grow anxious as. che time 
approached when I should need my dairymaid, 
and need her badly. One day, while looking 
over the Rural New Yorker (I was weaned on 
that paper), I saw tlie following advertisement. 
" Wanted : Employment on a dairy-farm by a 
married couple who understand the business." 
If this were true, these two persons were just 
what I needed ; but, was it true ? I had tried 
a score of greater promise and had not found 

160 



THE DAIRYMAID 



161 



one that would do. Was I to flush two at once, 
and would they fall to my gun 7 

A small town in one of the Middle Western 
states was given as the address, and I wrote at 
once. My letter was strong in requirements, and 
asked for particulars as to experience, age, refer- 
ences, and nationality. The reply came promptly, 
and was more to my liking than any I had 
received before. Name, French; Americans, 
newly married, twenty-eight and twenty-six re- 
spectively; experience four and three years in 
creamery and dairy work; references, good; 
the couple wished to work together to save 
money to start a dairy of their own. I was 
pleased with the letter, which was an unusual 
one to come from native-born Americans. Our 
people do not often hunt in couples after this 
manner. I telegraphed them to come to the city 
at once. 

It was late in April when I first saw the 
Frenches. The man was tall and raw-boned, 
but good-looking, with a frank manner that in- 
spired confidence. He was a farmer's son with 
a fair education, who had saved a little money, 
and had married his wife out of hand lest some 
one else should carry her off while he was build- 
ing the nest for her. 

« I took her when I could get her," he said, 
" and would have done it with a two-dollar bill 
in my pocket rather than have taken chances." 

The woman was worthy of such an extreme 



in 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 




measure, for she looked capable of caring for 
both. She was .t fine pattern of a country girl, 
with a head full of good sense, and very useful- 
looking hands and arms. Her face was good to 
look upon ; it showed strength of character and 
a definite object in life. She said she understood 
the creamery processes in all their niceties, and 
that she could make butter good enough for 
Queen Victoria. 

The proposition offered by this young couple 
was by fair the best I had received, and I closed 
with them at once. I agreed to pay each $25 a 
month to start with, and explained my plan of 
an increasing wage of tl a month for each period 
of six months' service. They thought they ought 
to have $30 level. I thought so, too, if they were 
as good as they promised. But I had a fondness 
for my increasing scale, and I held to it. These 
people were skilled laborers, and were worth 
more to begin with than ordinary farm hands. 
That is why I gave them *25 a month from the 
start. Six hundred dollars a year for a man and 
wife, with no expense except for clothing, is 
good pay. They can easily put away $400 out 
of it, and it doesn't take long to get fore-handed. 
I think the Frenches have invested $500 a year, 
on an average, since they came to Four Oaks. 

It is now time to get at the dairy-house, since 
the dairy and the dairymaid are both in evi- 
dence. The house was to be on the building 
line, and both Polly and I thought it should 



THE DAIRYMAID 



183 



have attractive features. We decided to make 
it of dark red paving brick. It was to be eighteen 
feet by thirty, with two rooms on the ground. 
The first, or south room, ten feet by eighteen, was 
fitted for storing fruit, and afforded a stairway 
to the rooms above, which were four in number 
besides the >)ath. Tli(< larger room was of course 
the butter factory, and was equipped with up- 
to-date appliances, — at'rator. Pasteurizer, cooler, 
separator, Babcock tester, swing churn, butter- 
worker, and so on. The house was to have steep 
gables and projecting eaves, with a window in 
each gable, and two dormer windows in each 
roof. The walls were to be plastered, and the 
ground floor was to be cement. It cost #1875. 

As motive power for the churn and separator, 
a two-sheep-power treadmill has proved entirely 
satisfactory. It is worked by two sturdy wethers 
who are harbored in a pleasant house and run, 
close to the power-house, and who pay for their 
food by the sweat of their brows and the wool 
from their backs. They do not appear to dis- 
like the "demnition grind," which lasts but an 
hour twice a day ; they go without reluctance to 
the tramp that leads nowhere, and the futile 
journey which would seem foolish to anything 
wiser than a sheep. This sheep-power is one of 
the curios of the place. My grand-girls never 
lose their interest in it, and it has been photo- 
graphed and sketched more times than there are 
fingers and toes on the sheep. 



111 



154 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



The expenditure for equipment, from separa- 
tor to sheep, was $864. I made an arrangement 
with a fancy grocer in the city to furnish him 
thirty pounds, more or less, of fresh (unsalted) 
butter, six days in the weelt, at thirty-three cents 
a pound, I to pay express charges. I bought six 
butter-carriers with ice compartments for 18.75 
each, 128 in all, and arranged with the express 
company to deliver my packoges to the grocer 
for thirty cents each. The butter netted me 
thirty-two cents a pound that year, or about WO 
a week. 

In July I bought four thoroughbred Holsteins, 
four years old, in fresh milk, and in October, six 
more, at an average price of fl20 a head, — #1200 
in all. These reinforcements made it possible 
for me to keep my contract with the middleman, 
and often to exceed it. 

The dairy industry was now fairly launched 
and in working order. It had cost, not to be 
exact, 17000, and it was reasonably sure to bring 
back to the farm about 160 a week in cash, be- 
sides furnishing butter for the family and an 
immense amount of skim-milk and butter-milk to 
feed to the young animals on the place. 



CHAPTER XXVI 



UTTLE FIOS 

By April 1st all my sows had farrowed. Ther, 
was much variation in the numbir ol pi^s in 
these nineteen litters. One noble innthif ,.ave 
me thirteen, two of which promptly died. Tliiee 
others farrowed eleven each, and so down to 
one ungrateful mother who contributed but rivo 
to the industry at Four Oaks. The average, 
however, was good ; 154 pigs on April 10th were 
all that a halfway reasonable factory man could 
expect. 

These youngsters were left with their mothers 
until eight weeks old ; then they were put, in 
bunches of thirty, into the real hog-house, which 
was by that time completed. It was 200 feet 
long and 50 feet wide, with a 10-foot passage- 
way through the length of it. On either side 
were 10 pens 20 feet by 20, each connected with 
a run 20 feet by 120. The house stood on a 
platform or bed of cement 90 by 200 feet, which 
formed the floor of the house and extended 20 
feet outside of each wall, to secure cleanliness 
and a dry feeding-place in the open. The 
cement floor was expensive (fll20 as first cost), 



IW 



THE PAT OF THE LAND 



but I think it has paid for itself several times 
over in health and comfort to the herd. The 
structure on this floor was of the simplest; a 
double wall only five feet high at the sides, 
shingled roof, broken at the ridge to admit 
windows, and strong partitions. It cost #3100. 
As in the brood-sow house, there is a kitchen at 
the west end. The 150 little pigs made but a 
small showing in this great house, which was 
intended td shelter six hundred of all sizes, from 
the eight-weeks-old baby pig to .lie nine-months- 
old three-hundred-pounder ready for market. 

Pigs destined for market never leave this house 
until ripe for killing. At six or seven months 
a few are chosen to remain on the fa- . and 
keep up its traditions; but the great number 
live their ephemeral lives of eight months luxuri- 
ously, even opulently, until they have made the 
ham and bacon which, poor tilings, they cannot 
save, and then pass into the pork barrel or the 
smoke-house without a sigh of regret. They 
toil not, neither do they spin ; but they have a 
place in the world's economy, and they fit it 
perfectly. So long as one animal must eat an- 
other, the man animal should thank the hog 
animal for his generosity. 

Now that my big hog-house seemed so empty, I 
would gladly have sent into the highways and 
byways to buy young stock to fiU it; but I 
dared not break my quarantine. I could easily 
ha.e picked up one hundred or even two hun- 



LITTT/E PIGS 



157 



dred new-weaned pigs, within six or eight miles 
of my place, at about f 1.50 each, and they would 
have grown into fat profit by fall ; but I would 
not take a risk that might bear ill fruit. I had 
slight depressions of spirits when I visited my 
piggery during that summer ; but I chirked up 
a little in the fall, when the brood sows again 
made good. But more of that anon. 



CHAPTER XXVII 



VrOBK ON THE HOMK FORTY 



! 






April and May made amends for the rudeness 
of March, and the ploughs were early afield. 
Thompson, Zeb, Johnson, and sometimes Ander- 
son, followed the furrows, first in 10 and 11, and 
lastly in 13. Number 9 had a fair clover sod, 
and was not disturbed. We ploughed in all 
about 114 acres, but we did not subsoil. We 
spent twenty days ploughing and as many more 
in fitting the ground for seed. The weather was 
unusually warm for the season, and there was 
plenty of rain. By the middle of May, oats 
were showing green in Nos. 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13, 
— sixty -two acres. The corn was well planted 
in 15 and the west three-quarters of 14, — eighty- 
two acres. The other ten acres in the young 
orchard was planted to fodder corn, sown in 
drills so that it could be cultivated in one 
direction. 

The ten-acre orchard on the south side of the 
home lot was used for potatoes, sugar beets, 
cabbages, turnips, etc., to furnish a winter supply 
of vegetables for the stock. 

The outlook for alfalfa was not bright. In 
the early spring we fertilized it again, using 

168 



WOEK ON THE HOME FORTY 



169 



five hundred pounds to the acre, though it seemed 
like a conspicuous waste. The warm rains and 
days of April and May brought a fine crop of 
weeds ; and about the middle of May I turned 
Anderson loose in the fields with a scythe, and 
he mowed down everything in sight. 

After that things soon began to look better 
in the alfalfa fields. As the season was favor- 
able, we were able to cut a crop of over a ton 
to the acre early in July, and nearly as much in 
the latter part of August. We cut forty tons 
from these twenty acres within a year from 
seeding, but I suspect that was unusual luck. I 
had used thirteen hundred pounds of commer- 
cial fertilizer to the acre, and the season was 
very favorable for the growth of the plant. I 
have since cut these fields three times earh year, 
with an average yield of five tons to the acre for 
the whole ciop. 

I like alfalfa, both as green and as dry forage. 
When we use it green, we let it lie in swath for 
twenty-four hours, that it may wilt thoroughly 
before feeding. It is then fit food for hens, hogs, 
and, in limited quantities, for cows, and is much 
relished. When used dry, it is always cut fine 
and mixed with ground grains. In this shape it 
is fed liberally to hens and hogs, and also to 
milch cows ; for the latter it forms half of the 
cut-food ratirn. 

While the crops are growing, we will find time 
to note the changes on the home lot. Nearly in 



I 



160 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



ffi ... 



front of the farm-house, and fifty yards distant, 
was a space well fitted for the kitchen garden. 
We marked off a plat two hundred feet by three 
hundred, about one and a half acres, carted a lot 
of manure on it, and ploughed it as deep as the 
subsoiler would reach. This was done as soon 
as the frost permitted. We expected this garden 
to supply vegetables and small fruits for the 
whole colony at Four Oaks. An acre and a half 
can be made exceedingly productive if properly 
managed. 

Along the sides of this garden we planted two 
rows of currant and gooseberry bushes, six feet 
between rows, and the plants four feet apart in 
the rows. The ends of the plat were left open 
for convenience in horse cultivation. Ten feet 
outside these rows of bush fruit was planted a 
line of quince trees, thirty on each side, and 
twenty feet beyond these a row of cherry trees, 
twenty in each row. 

Near the west boundary of the home lot, and 
north of the lane that enters it, I planted two 
acres of dwarf pear trees — Bartlett and Duchess, 
— three hundred trees to the acre. I also planted 
six hundred plum trees — Abundance, Wicksoii, 
and Gold — in the chicken runs on lot 4. 
Af'er May 1, when he was relieved from his 
farm duties, Johnson had charge of the planting 
and also of the gardening, and he took up his 
speciaJ work with energy and pleasure. 

The drives on the home lot were slightly 



i ^TWfmym 



WORK ON THE HOME FORTY 161 

rounded with ploughs and scraper, and then 
covered with gravel. The open slope intended 
for the lawn was now to be treated. It com- 
prised about ten acres, irregular in form and 
surface, and would require a good deal of work 
to whip it into shape. A lawn need not be per- 
fectly graded, — in fact, natural inequalities with 
dips and rises are much more attractive ; but we 
had to take out the asperities. We ploughed it 
thoroughly, removed all stumps and stones, lev- 
elled and sloped it as much as pleased Polly, 
harrowed it twice a week until late August' 
sowed it heavily to grass seed, rolled it, and 
left it. 

Polly had the house in her mind's eye. She 
held repeated conversations with Nelson, and was 
as full of plans and secrets as she could hold. 
By agreement, she was to have a free hand to the 
extent of 115,000 for the house and the carriage 
bam. I never really examined the plans, though 
I saw the blue prints of what appeared to be a 
large house with a driving entrance on the east 
and a great wide porch along the whole soutli 
side. I did not know until it was nearly finished 
how large, convenient, and comfortable it was to 
be. A hall, a great living-room, the dining room, 
a small reception rootn, and an office, bedroom, 
and bath for me, were all on the ground floor, 
besides a huge wing for the kitchen and other 
useful offices. 
Above stairs there was room for the family 



«l 



ill 



^S«iM 



162 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



iM^ 






and a goodly number of friends. We had agreed 
that the house should be simple in all ways, with 
no hard wood except floors, and no ornamenta- 
tion except paint and paper. It must be larger 
than our needs, for we looked forward to delight- 
ful visits from many friends. We were to have 
more leisure than ever before for social life, and 
we desired to make the most of our opportunities. 
A country house is by all odds the finest place 
to entertain friends and to be entertained by 
them. They come on invitation, not as a matter 
of form, and they stay long enough to put by 
questions of weather, clothes, and servant-girls, 
and to get right down to good old-fashioned 
visiting. Real heart-to-heart talks are everyday 
occurrences in country visits, while they are 
exceptional in city calls. We meant to make 
much of our friends at Four Oaks, and to have 
them make much of us. We have discovered new 
values even in old friends, since we began to live 
with them, weeks at a time, under the same 
roof. Their interests are ours, and our plans are 
warmly taken up by them. There is nothing 
like it among the turmoils and interruptions of 
town life, and the older we grow the more we 
need this sort of rest among our friends. The 
guest book at the farm will show very few weeks, 
in the past six years, when friends haven't been 
with us, and Polly and I feel that the pleasure 
we have received from this source ought to be 
placed on the credit side of the farm ledger. 



WOEK ON THE HOME FORTY 163 

Another reason for a company house was that 
Jack and Jane would shortly be out of school. 
It was not at all in accord with our plan that 
they should miss any pleasure by our change. 
Indeed, we hoped that the change would be to 
their liking and to their advantage. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 



DISCOUI.r.NG THE MABKBT 

We broke ground for the house late in May, 
and Nelson said that we should be in it by 
Thanksgiving Day. Soon after the plans were 
settled Polly informed me that she should not 
spend much money on the stable. 

« Can't do it," she said, « and do what I ought 
to on the house. I will give you room for six 
horses ; the rest, if you have more, must go to 
the farm barn. I cannot spend more than fllOO 
or §1200 on the barn." 

Polly was boss of this department, and I was 
content to let her have her way. She had already 
mulcted me to the extent of |43G for trees, plants, 
and shrubs which were even then grouped on 
the lawn after a fashion that pleased her. I 
need not go into the details of the lawn planting, 
the flower garden, the pergola, and so forth. I 
have a suspicion that Polly has in mind a full 
account of the " fight for the home forty," in a 
form greatly better than I could give it, and it is 
only fair that she should tell her own story. I 
am not the only one who admires her landscape, 
her flower gardens, and her woodcraft. Many 

1S4 



DISCOUNTING THE MAEKET lOS 

others do honor to her tastes and to the evidence 
of thought which the home lot shows. She dis- 
claims great credit, for she says, " One has only 
to live with a place to find out what it needs." 
As I look back to the beginning of my experi- 
ment, I see only one bit of good luck that at- 
tended it. Building material was cheap during 
the months in whid; I had to build so much. 
Nothing else specially favored me, while in one 
respect my experiment was poorly timed. The 
price of pork was unusually low. For three 
years, from 1896, the price of hogs never reached 
i6 per hundred pounds in our market,- a thing 
unprecedented for thirty years. I never sold 
below three and a half cents, but the showing 
would have been wonderfully bettered could I 
have added another cent or two per pound for 
all the pork I fattened. The average price for 
the pjst twenty-five years is well above five cents 
a pound for choice lots. Corn and all other foods 
were also cheap ; but this made little difference 
with me, because I was not a seller of grain. 

In 1896 I was, however, a buyer of both corn 
and oats. In September of that year corn sold 
on 'Change at 19J cents a bushel, and oats at 
14|. These prices were so much below the food 
value of these grains that I was tempted to buy. 
I sent a cash order to a commission house for 
five thousand bushels of each. I stored this 
grain in my granary, ag&in-st the time of need, 
at a total expense of $1850, — 21 cents a bushel 



II 



166 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



'1! 
<iyi 



ii^ 



for corn and 16 for oats. I had storage room 
and to spare, and I knew that I could get more 
than a third of a cent out of each pound of 
corn, and more than half a cent out of each 
pound of oats. I recalled the story of a man 
named Joseph who did some com business in 
Egypt a good many years ago, much in this line, 
and who did well in the transaction. There was 
no dream, of fat kine in my case ; but I knew 
something of the values of grains, and it did not 
take a reader of riddles to show me that when 
I could buy clieaper than I could raise, it was a 
good time to purchase. 

As I said once before, there Jiave been no se- 
rious crop failures at Four Oaks, — indeed, we 
can show better than an average yield each year ; 
but this extra corn in my cribs has given me 
confidence in following my plan of very liberal 
feeding. With this grain on hand I was able to 
cut twenty acres of oats in Nos. 10 and 11 for 
forage. This was done when the grain was in 
the milk, and I secured about sixty tons of excel- 
lent hay, much loved by horses. We got from 

No. 9 a little less than twelve tons of clover, 

alfalfa furnished forty tons ; and there was nearly 
twenty tons of old hay left over from that origi- 
nally purchased. With all this forage, good of 
its kind, there was. iioxv'ever, no timothy or red 
top, which is by all odds the best hay for horses. 
I determined to remedy this lack before another 
year. As soon as the oats were off lots 10 and 11. 



DIBCOUNTIlfO THE MABKBT Mr 

fieldTw« J ""'." ""'" Septe„.),er 1, these 

S\ .T ^""^'^ '"'^ ^««'' '" half lap. 80 

hat by the time we were ready to seed them 

Tjd^'Zu ""o^"^"' condition and free from 
Zl ^^^"^September 1 they were sown to 
timothy and red top, fifteen pounds each to the 
acre topKlressed with five hundred pounds of 
fertUuer, harrowed once more, rolledf^nd le? 
umjl spnng, when another dose of fertilizer was 

I wished to establish twenty acres of timothy 
and as much alfalfa, to furnish the hay supply 
for the farm With one hundred tons o( J^ul 
exnecf? °^ ]™°'hy, which I could reasonably 
expect, I could ^et on splendidly 

From the first I have pmcti.sed feeding my hay 
crop for immediate returns. The land revives 
five hundred pounds of fertilizer per acre when 
It IS sown, a like amount again in the spring 
and, as soon as a crop is cut, three hundred 
pounds an acre more. This usually gives a 
second crop of timothy about September 1 
If the season is at all favorable. The alfalfa is 
out at least three times, and for ea h cutting it 
receives tiiree hundred pounds of plant food per 
f'^^'o *^*'^ '^""'^^ ''^ ^ y®*"" ^ spend from #10 

f°^l *" *'''■* ^°' "^ «™^ '*"'^- I" "-eturn I get 
" "^ acre of timothy, in two cuttings. 

aver- 



about 



- 7 ..".HI, c*iy on over- 

age selling price, 112 a ton. The alfalfa yields 



maOCOn KESOWTION TiST CHAKT 

(ANSI and ISO TEST CHART No. 2) 




^ /APPLIED IIVMGE ii 

^—^ 1653 Eaal Main Stfaet 

S^S RochMler, N«i* York 14609 US* 

■^— ('16) *83 - 0300 - Phont 

^S (''6) 268 - 5989 - Fax 



168 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



nearly five tons per acre, and has a feeding value 
of 110 a ton. I have sold timothy hay a few 
times, but I feel half ashamed to say so, for it is 
against my view of justice to the land. I find 
oat hay cheaper to raise than timothy, and, as it 
is quite as well liked by the horses, I have been 
tempted to turn a part of my timothy crop into 
money directly from the field. 



CHAPTER XXIX 



PBOM CITY TO COUNTBV 

In early July I y.ent through my young 
orchard, which had been cut back so ruthlessly 
the previous autumn, and carefully planned 
a head for each tree. Quite a bunch of sprouts 
had started from near the top of each stub, and 
were growing luxuriantly. Out of each bunch I 
selected three or four to form the head ; the r^st 
were rubbed off or cut out with a sharp knife or 
prunmg shears. It surprised me to see what a 
growth some of these sprouts had made; sixteen 
or eighteen inches was not uncommon. Big 
roots and big bodies were pushing great quanti- 
ties of sap toward the tops. 

Of course I bought farm machinery during 
this first season, — mower, reaper, corn reaper, 
shredder, and so on. In October I took account 
of expenditures for machinery, grass seed, and 
fertilizer, and found that I had invested §833. I 
had also, at an expense of $850, built a large 
shed or tool-house for farm implements. It is 
one of the rules at Four Oaks to grease and 
house all tools when not in actual use. I be- 
lieve the observation of this rule has paid for the 
shed. 



170 THE FAT OF THE LAND 

In October 1896 I had a good offer for my town 
house, and accepted it. I had purchased the 
property eleven years before for $22,000, but, as 
it was in bad condition, I had at once spont 
19000 on it and the stable. I sold it for 134,000, 
with the understanding that I could occupy it 
for the balance of the year it I wished. 

After selling the house, I calculated the cost 
of the elementary necessities, food and shelter, 
which I had been willing to pay during many 
years ot residence in the city. The record ran 
about like this : 

Interest at 5% on house valued at 934,000 . 11700.00 

Yearly taxes on same 340.00 

Insurance jq'qq 

Fuel and light ...'.'.'. 250.00 
Wages for one man and three women . . 1200.00 
Street sprinkling, watchman, etc. . . . 80.00 
Food, including water, ice, etc. . . . 1560.00 
Making a total of ... . isgio.oo 

It cost me $100 a week to shelter and feed my 
family in the city. This, of course, took no ac- 
count of personal expenses, — travel, sight-seeing, 
clothing, books, gifts, or the thousand and one 
things which enter more or less prominently 
into the everyday life of the family. 

If the farm was to furnish food and shelter 
for us in the future, it would be no more than 
fair to credit it with some portion of this expendi- 
ture, which was to cease when we left the city 
home. What portion of it could be justly cred- 
ited to the farm was to be decided by compara- 



FROM CITY TO COUNTRY 



171 



tive comforts after a year of experience. I did 
not plan our exodus for the sake of economy, or 
because I found it necessary to retrench; our 
rate of living was no higher than we were will- 
ing and able to afford. Our object was to change 
occupation and mode of life without financial 
loss, and without moulting a single comfort. We 
wished to end our days close to the land, and we 
hoped to prove that this could be (' ne with both 
grace and profit. I had no desire to lose touch 
with the city, and there was no necessity for do- 
ing so. Four Oaks is less than an hour from the 
heart of town. I could leave it, spend two or 
three hours in town, and be back in tine for 
luncheon without special effort ; and Polly would 
think nothing of a shopping trip and friends 
home with her to dinner. The people of Exeter 
were nearly all city people who were so fortunate 
as not to be slaves to long hours. They were 
rich by work or by inheritance, and they grace- 
fully accepted the otium cum dignitate which this 
condition permitted. Social life was at its best 
in Exeter, and many of its people were old 
acquaintances of ours. A noted country club 
spread its broad acres within two miles of our 
door, and I had been favorably posted for mem- 
bership. It did not look as though we should 
be thrust entirely upon our own resourc3s in the 
country; but at the worst we had resources 
within our own walls and fences that would fend 
off all but the most yiylent attacks of ennui. 



172 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



We were both keenly interested in the expert, 
ment. Nothing that happened on the farm went 
unchalle.iged. The milk product for the day was 
a thing of interest ; the egg count could not go 
unnoted ; a hatch of chickens must be seen before 
they left the incubator ; a litter of new-bom pigs 
must be admired ; horses and cows were forever 
doing things which they should or should not 
do ; men and maids had griefs and joys to share 
with mistress or Headman ; flowers were bloom- 
ing, trees Were leafing, a robin had built in the 
black oak, a gopher was tunnelling the rose bed, 
— a thousand things, full of interest, were hap- 
pening every day. As a place where things the 
most unexpected do happen, recommend me to a 
quiet farm. 

But we were not to depend entirely upon out- 
side things for diversion. Books we had galore, 
and we both loved them. Many a charming even- 
ing have I spent, sometimes alone, more often 
with two or three congenial friends, listening to 
Polly's reading. This is one of her most delight- 
ful accomplishments. Her friends never tire of 
her voice, and her voice never tires of her friends. 
We all grow lazy when she is about ; but there 
are worse things than indolence. No, we did 
not mean to drop out of anything worth while ; 
but we were pretty well provisioned against a 
siege, if inclement weather or some other acci- 
dent should lock us up at the farm. 

To keep still better hold of the city, I sug- 



FEOM CITY TO COUNTRY 



173 



gested to Tom and Kate that they should keep 
open house for us, or any part of us, whenever 
we were inclined to take advantage of their hos- 
pitality. This would give us city refuge after 
late functions of all sorts. The plan has worked 
admirably. I devote «1200 a year out of the 
§5200 of food-and-shelter .noney to the support 
of our city shelter at Kate's house, and the bal- 
ance, «4000, is entered at the end of each year 
on the credit side of the farm ledger. No. do I 
think this in any way unjust. We do noi ?xpect 
to get things for nothing, and we do not wish to. 
If the things we pay for now are as valuable as 
those we paid for six or eight years ago, we 
ought not to find fault with an equal price. I 
have repeatedly polled the family on this ques- 
tion, and we all agree that we have lost nothing 
by the change, and that we have gained a great 
deal in several ways. Our friends are of like 
opinion; and I am therefore justified in credit- 
ing Four Oaks with a considerable sum for food 
and shelter. We have bettered our condition 
without foregoing anything, and without increas- 
mg our expenses. That is enough. 



CHAPTER XXX 



AUTUMN BBCKONINO 

We harvested the crops in the autumn of 1896 
and were thankful for the bountiful yield. Nearly 
sixteen Vndred bushels of oats and twenty-seven 
hundred bushels of com made a proud showing 
.n the granary, when added to its previous stock 
The corn fodder, ohredded by our own men and 
machme, made the great forage barn look like 
an overflowing cornucopia, and the only extra 
expense attending the harvest was $31 paid for 
threshing the oats. 

Three important items of food are consumed 
on the arm that have to be purchased each year, 
and as there ,s not much fluctuation in the price 
paid, we may as well settle the per capita rate 
for the milch cows and hogs for once and all 
At each year's end we can then easily find the 
cash outby for the herds by multiplying the 
number of stock by tne cost of keeping one. 

My Holstein cows consume a trifle less than 
three tons of grain each per year, _ about fifteen 
pounds a day. Taking the ration for four cows 
as a matter of convenience, we have: com and 

174 



AUTUMN KECKONINO 



178 



cob meal, three tons, and oatmeal, three tons, 
both kinds raised and ground -in the farm, and 
not charged in this account ; wheat bran, three 
tons at §18, *54 ; gluten meal, two tons at 124, 
«48; oil meal, one ton, $26; total cash outlay 
for four cows, §128, or «82 per head. This esti- 
mate is, however, about 12 too liberal. We will, 
hereafter, charge each miich cow 130, and will 
also charge each hog fattened on the place $1 for 
shorts and middlings consumed. This is not 
exact, but it is near enough, and it greatly sim- 
plifies accounts. 

As I kept twenty-six cows ten months, and 
ten more for an average of four and a half 
months, the feeding for 1896 would be equivalent 
to one year for thirty cows, or 1900. To this 
add 1120 for swine food and $25 for grits and 
oyster shells for the chickens, and we have #1046 
paid for food for stock. Shoeing the horses for 
the year and repairs to machinery cost $157. 
The purchased food for eight employees for 
twelve months and for two additional ones for 
eight months, amounted to $734. The wage 
account, including $50 extra to Thompson, was 
$2358. 

A second hen-house, a duplicate of the first, 
was built before October. It was intended that 
each house should accommodate four hundred 
laying hens. We have now on the place five of 
these houses ; but only two of them, besides the 
incubator and the brooder-house, were built in 



176 



THE FAT OK THE LAND 



I 



I 



= "^ 



1896. As offset to the heavy expenditure of this 
year, I had not much to show. Seven hundred 
cockerels were sold in November for »842 In 
October the pullets began laying in desult. •>■ 
fashion, and by November they hid settled down 
to busmess; a;, 1 that quarter they gave mc 703 
dozen eggs to sell. As the^ ■ eggs were marketed 
within twenty.four hours, and under a guarantee, 
1 had no difHculty in getting thirty cents a dozen, 
net. November eggs brought 1211, and the 
December out-put, §252. I sold 600 bushels of 
potatoes for «150, and the apj.les frori 150 of the 
old trees' (which, by the way, were greatly 
improved this year) brou-ht 1450 on the 
tree,'. 

The cows did well. In the thirty-three weeks 
from May 12 to December 31, I sold a little more 
than 6600 pounds of butter, which netted me 

We had 122 young hogs to stii In December. 
Ihey had been crowded as fast as possible to 
make good weight, and they went to market at 
an average of 290 pounds a head. The price was 
low but I got the top of the market, — 13.55 a 
hundred, which amounted to J1170 after paying 
charges. I had reserved twenty-five of the most 
likely young sows to stay on the farm, and had 
transferred eight to the village butcher, who ^as 
to return them in the shape of two barrels of 
salt pork, thirty-two smoked hams and shoulders 
and a lot of bacon. 



AUTUMN RECKONING 177 

The old sows farrowed again in September 
and early OotolM-r, and we went into the winter 
with 162 young pi^s. I il, it these details out of 
the way now in order to turn to the family and 
the social side of life at Four Oaks. 



CHAPTER XXXI 



THE CUILDBEN 

The house did not progress as fast as Nelson 
had promised, and it was likely to be w "'. 
toward Christmas before we could occupy ii. 
As the days shortened, Polly and I found them 
crowded with interests. Life at Four Oaks was 
to mean such a radical change that we could not 
help speculating about its influence upon us and 
upon the children. Would it be satisfactory to 
us and to them ? Or should we find after a year 
or two of experiment that we had been mistaken 
in believing that we could live happier lives in 
the country than in town ? A year and a half 
of outdoor life and freedom from professional 
responsibilities had wrought a great change in 
me. I could now eat and sleep like a hired man, 
and it seemed preposterous to claim that I was 
going to the country for my health. My medical 
adviser, however, insisted that I had not gotten 
far enough away from the cause of my break- 
down, and that it would be unwise for me to 
take up work again for at least another year. 
In my own mind there was a fixed opinion that 
I should never take it up again. I loved it 

178 



THE CHILDREN 



179 



deuvly ; but I Imd given long, hard service to it, 
and felt tli.>t I hud earnud the rigi. to freedom 
from its exooting denionds. I liave never lost 
interest in tliis, tim noblest of professions, but I 
liad done my share, and was now willing to 
watch the work of others. In my mind there 
was no doubt abou* ,he dejiirability of tl • 
change. I have al ly loved the thought of 
country life, and now that my thoughts were 
taking material shape, I was keen to push on. 
Polly looked toward the untrammelled life ve 
hoped to lead with os great pleasure as I. 

But how about the children? Would it 
appeal to them with the same force as to us? 
The children have th;is far been kept in the 
background. I wanted to start my factory farnj 
and to get through with most of its dull details 
before introducing them to the reader, lest I 
shouL he diverted from the business to the 
domesnc, or social, proposition. 

The farm is laid by for the winter, and most 
of the details needed for a just comprehension of 
our experiment have been given. From this time 
on we will deal chiefly with results. We will 
watch the out-put from the factory, and com- 
mend or find fault as the case may deserve. 
The social side of life is quite as important as 
the commercial, for though we gain money, if we 
lose happiness, what profit have we? Let us 
study the children to see what chances for happi- 
ness and good fellowship lie in them. 



V, 



K 



m 



* 1 



m 




180 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



Kate is our first-born. She is a bright, beauti- 
ful woman of five-and-twenty, who nas had a 
husband these six years, one daughter for four 
years, and, wonderful to relate, another daughter 
for two years. She is quick and practical, with 
strong opinions of her own, prompt with advice 
and just as prompt with aid ; a woman with a 
temper, but a friend to tie to in time of stress. 
She has the education of a good school, and what 
is infinitely better, the cultivation of an observ- 
ing mind. She is quick with tongue and pen, 
but her quickness is so tempered by unquestioned 
friendliness that it fastens people to her as with 
a cord. Shf overflows with interests of every 
description, but she is never too busy to listen 
sympathetically to a child or a friend. She is 
the practical member of the family, and we 
rarely do much out of the ordinary without first 
talking it over with Kate. 

Tom Hamilton, her husband, is a young man 
who is getting on in the world. He is clever in 
his profession, and sure to succeed beyond the 
success of most men. He is quiet in manner, 
but he seems to have a way of managing his 
quick, handsome wife, which is something of a 
surprise to me, and to her also, I fancy. They 
are congenial and happy, and their children are 
beings to adore. Tom and Kate are to live in 
town. They are too young for the joys of coun- 
try life, and must needs drag on as they are, 
loved and admired by a host of friends. They 






THE CHILDREN 



181 



can, and will, however, spend much time at Four 
Oaks; and I need not say they approved our 
plans. 

Jack is our second. He was a junior at Yale, 
and I am shy of saying much about him lest I 
be accused of partiality. Enough to say that he 
is tall, blond, handsome, and that he has gentle, 
winning ways that draw the love of men and 
women. He is a dreamer of dreams, but he has 
a sturdy drop of Puritan blood in his veins that 
makes him strong in conviction and brave in 
action. Jack has never caused me an hour of 
anxiety, and I was ever proud to see him in any 
company. 

Concerning Jane, I must be pardoned in ad- 
vance for a father's favoritism. She is my 
youngest, and to me she seems all that a father 
could wish. Of fair height and well moulded, 
her physique is perfect. Good health and a 
happy life had set the stamp of superb woman- 
hood upon her eighteen years. Any effort to 
describe her would be vain and unsatisfactory. 
SuiHce it to say that she is a pure blonde, with 
eyes, hair, and skin just to my liking. She is 
quiet and shy in manner, deliberate in speech, 
sensitive beyond measure, wise in intuitive judg- 
ment, clever in historj and literature, but always 
a little in doubt as to the result of putting seven 
and eight together, and not unreasonably domi- 
nated by the rules of orthography. She is fond 
of outdoor life, in love with horses and dogs, 



182 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 




and withal very much of a home girl. Every one 
makes much of Jane, and she is not spoiled, but 
rather improved by it. She was in her second 
year at Farmington, and, like all Farmington 
students, she cared more for girls than for boys. 
These were the children whom I was to trans, 
port from the city, where they were bom, to the 
quiet life at Four Oaks. After carefully taking 
their measures, I felt little hesitation about mak- 
ing the change. They, of course, had known of 
the plan, and had often been to the farm ; but 
they were still to find out what it really meant 
to live t'here. A saddle horse and dogs galore 
would square me with Jane, beyond question ; 
but what about Jack ? Time must decide that. 
His plan of life was not yet formed, and we 
could afford to wait. We did not have much 
time in which to weigh these matters, for the 
Christmas holidays were near, and the young- 
sters would soon be home. We planned to be 
settled in the new house when they arrived. 



m 



CHAPTER XXXII 



THE HOMK-COMING 

In arranging to move my establishment I was 
in a quandary as to wliat it ^vas best to do for 
a coachman. Lars had been with me fifteen 
years. He came a green Swedish lad, developed 

into a first-class coachman, married a nice girl 

and for twelve years he and his wife lived hap- 
pily in the rooms above my stable. Two boys 
were born to them, and these lads were now ten 
and twelve years of age. Shortly after I bought 
the farm Lars was so unfortunate as to lose his 
good wife, and he and the boys were left forlorn. 
A relative came and gave them such care as she 
could, but the mother and wife was missed be- 
yond remedy. In his depression Lais took to 
drink, and things began to go wrong in the stable. 
He was not often drunk, but he was much of the 
time under the influence of alcohol, and conse- 
quently not reliable. I had done my best for 
the poor fellow, and he took my lectures and 
chidings in the way they were intended, and, in- 
deed, he tried hard to break loose from the one bad 
habit, but with no good results. His evil friends 
had such strong hold on him that they could and 

I8S 



IM 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



M . 



i 



would lead him astray whenever there was op- 
portunity. Polly and I had many talks about 
this matter. She was growing timid under his 
driving, and yet she was attached to him for long 
and faithful service 

" Let's chance it," she said. « If we get him 
away from these people who lead him astray, he 
may brace up and become a man again." 

« But what about the boys, Polly ? " said I. 

« We ought to be able to find something for 
the boys to do on the farm, and they can go to 
school at Exeter. Can't they drive the butter, 
cart out each morning and home after school ? 
They're smart chaps, you know, and used to 
doing things." 

Polly had found a way, and I was heartily 
glad of it, for I did not feel like giving up my 
hold on the man and the boys. Lars was glad 
of the chance to make good again, and he will- 
ingly agreed to go. He was to receive $28 a 
month. This was less than he was getting in 
the city, but it was the wage which we were 
paying that year at the farm, and he was con- 
tent; for the boys were each to receive $5 a 
month, and to be sent to school eight mouths 
a year for three years. 

This matter arranged, we began to plan for 
the moving. I had five horses in my stable, — a 
span of blacks for the carriage and three single 
drivers. Besides the horses, harness, and equip- 
ment, there was a large carriage, a brougham, a 



THE HOME-COMING 



185 






Goddard phaeton, a runabout, and a cart. 1 ex- 
changed the brougham and the Goddard for a 
station wagon and a park phaeton, as more suit- 
able for country use. 

The bam equipment was all sent in one cara- 
van, Thompson and Zeb coming into town to 
help Lars drive out. Our lares and penates 
were sent by freight on December 17. Polly 
had managed to coax another thousand dollars 
out of me for things for the house ; and these, 
with the furniture from our old home, made a 
brave showing when we gathered around the big 
fire in the living room, December 22, for our first 
night in the country. 

Tom, Kate, and the grand-girls were with us 
to spend the holidays, and so, too, was the lady 
whom we call Laura. I shall not try to say 
much about Laura. She was a somewhat recent 
friend. How we ever came to know her well, was 
half a mystery ; and how we ever got on before 
we knew her well, was a whole one. 

Roaring fires and shaded lamps gave an air of 
homelike grace to our new house, and we decided 
that we would never economize in either wood 
or oil ; they seemed • Jr the home spirit more 
than ever did coal or e.octricity. 

The day had been a busy one for the ladies, 
but they were pleased with results as they looked 
around the well-ordered house and saw the work 
of their hands. Before separating for ths night, 
Kate said : — 



186 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



■ f 



" I'm going to town to-morrow, and I'll pick 
up Jane and Jack in time to take the four o'clock 
train out. Papa will meet us at the station, and 
Momee will greet us at the doorstep. Make an 
illumination, Momee, and we will carry them by 
storm. Tom will h;.ve to take a later train, but 
he will be here in time for dinner." 

The afternoon of the 23d, the children came, 
and there was no failure in Kate's plan. The 
youngsters were delighted with everything. 
Jane said: — 

« I always wanted to live on a farm. I can 
have a saddle horse now, and keep as many dogs 
as I like, can't I, Dad ? " 

"You shall have the horse, and the dogs, too, 
when you come to stay." 

"Daddy," said Jack, "this will be great for 
you. Let me finish at an agricultural college, so 
that I can be of some practical help." 

" Not on your life, my son ! What your daddy 
doesn't know about farming wouldn't spoil a cup 
of teal While you are at home I will give you 
daily instruction in this most wholesome and in- 
dependent business, which will be of incalculable 
benefit to you, and which, I am frank to say, 
you cannot get in any agricultural college. Col- 
lege, indeed ! I have spent thousands of hours 
in dreaming and planning what a farm should 
be like I Do you suppose I am going to let these 
visions become contaminated by practical knowl- 
edge? Not by a long way! I have, in the 



THE HOME-COMING 187 

silent watches of the night, reduced the art to 
mathematical exactness, and I can siiow you the 
figures. Don't tallt to me about colleges ! " 

After supper we took the children through the 
house. Every part was inspected, and many 
were the expressions of pleasure and admiration. 
They were delighted with their rooms, and 
apparently with everything else. We finally 
quieted down in front of the open fire and 
discussed plans for the holidays. The children 
decided that it must be a house party. 

" Florence Marcy is • -ith an aunt for whom 
she doesn't particularly care, and Minnie will 
just jump at the chance of spending a week in 
the country," said Jane. 

"You can invite three girls, and Jack can have 
three men. Of course Jessie Gordon will be 
here. We will drive over in the morning and 
make sure of her." 

"Jack, whom w;!' you ask ? Get some good 
men out here, won you ? " 

" The best in the world, little sister, and you 
will have to keep a sharp lookout or you will 
lose your heart to one of them. Frank Howard 
will count it a lark. He has stuck to the « busi- 
ness " as faithfully as if he were not heir to it, 
and he will come sure to-morrow night. Dear 
old Phil — my many years' chum — will come 
because I ask him. These two are all right, and 
we can count on them. The other one is Jim 
Jarvis, — the finest man in college." 



188 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 




««'l'ell us about him, Jack." 
« Jarvis's father lives in MonUna, and has a 
lot of gold mines and other things to keep him 
busy. He doesn't have time to pay much atten- 
tion to his son, who is growing up after his own 
fashion. Jim's mother is dead, and he has 
neither brother nor sister, — nothing but money 
and beauty and health and strength and 
courage and sense and the stanchest heart 
that ever lifted wt istcoat ! He has been on the 
eleven three years. They want him in the boat, 
but he'll not have it; says it's not good work 
for a man. He's in the first division, well 
toward the front, too, and in the best society. 
He's taken a fancy to me, and I'm dead gone on 
him. He's the man for you to shun, little 
woman, unless you wish to be led captive." 

" There are othei ,, Jack, so don't worry about 
me. But do you think you can secure this 
paragon ? " 

« Not a doubt of it ! I'll wire him in the 
morning, and he'll be here as soon as steam can 
bring him ; he's my best chum, you know." 

This would make our party complete. We 
were all happy and pleased, and the evening 
passed before we knew it. 



I 



CHAPTER XXXIII 



CHRISTMAS EVE 

The next day was a busy one for all of us. 
Polly and Jane drove to tl- Gordons and secured 
Miss Jessie, and then Jane went to town to fetch 
her other friends. Jack went with her, after 
having telegraphed to Jim Jarvis. They all 
came home by mid-afternoon, just as a message 
came from Jarvis : « Will be on deck at six." 

Florence Marcy and Minnie Henderson were 
former neighbore and schoolmates of Jane's. 
They were fine girls to look at and bright girls 
to talk with ; blondes, eighteen, high-headed, full 
of life, and great girls for a house party. Phil 
and Frank were good specimens of their kinds. 
Frank was a little below medium height, slight, 
blond, vivacious to a degree, full of fun, and 
the most industrious talker within miles; he 
would "stir things up" at a funeral. Phil 
Stone was tall, slender, dark, quiet, well-dressed, 
a good dancer, and a very agreeable fellow in 
the >,v,.iier of the room, where his low musical 
voice was most effecti e. 

Jessie Gordon came at five o'clock. We were all 
very fond of Jessie, and who could help it ? She 

189 



190 



THE PAT OP THE LAND 



was tall (considerably above the average height), 
slender, straight as an arrow, graceful in repose 
and in motion. She carried herself like a queen, 
with a proud kind of shyness that became her well. 
Her head was small and well set on a slender neck, 
her hair dark, luxurious, wavy, and growing 
low over a broad forehead, her pvi^s soft brown, 
shaded by heavy brews and la'^Kes. She had a 
Grecian nose, and iier mouth was a shade too 
wide, but it was guarded by singularly perfect 
and sensitive lips. Her chin was pronounced 
enough to give the impression of firmness ; in- 
deed, save lor the soft eyes and sensitive mouth, 
firmness predominated. She was not a great 
talker, yet every one loved to listen to her. 
She laughed with her eyes and lips, but rarely 
with her voice. She enjoyed intensely, and 
could, therefore, suffer intensely. She was a 
dear girl in every way. 

All was now ready for the debut of Jack's 
paragon. Jack had driven to the station to 
fetch him, and presently the sound of wheels on 
the gravel drive announced the arrival of the 
last guest. I went into the hall to meet the 
men. 

" Daddy, I want you to know my chum, Jim 
Jarvis, — the finest all-round son of old Eli. 
Jarvis, this is my daddy, — the finest father that 
ever had son 1 " 

" I'm right glad to meet you, Mr. Jarvis ; your 
renown has preceded you." 



CHRISTMAS EVE 



191 



" I fear, Doctor, it lias exceeded me as well. 
Jack is not to be trusted on all subjects. But, 
indeed, I thank you for your hospitality ; it 
was a godsend to me." 

As we entered the living room, Polly came 
forward and I presented Jarvis to her. 

" You are more than welcome, Mr. Jarvis t 
Jack's ' best friend ' is certain of a warm corner 
at our fireside." 

« Madam, I find no word of thanks, but I do 
thank you. I have envied Jack his home letters 
and the evidences of mother care more than any- 
thing else, — and God knows there are enough 
other things to envy him for. I have no mother, 
and my faiiier is too busy to pay much attention 
to me. I wish you would adopt me ; I'll try to 
rival Jack in all that is dutiful." 

She did adopt him then and there, for who 
could refuse such a son ! Brown hair, brown 
eyes, brown skin, a frank, rugged, clean-shaven 
face, features strong enough to excite criticism 
and good enough to bear it; broad-shouldered, 
deep-chested, strong in arm and limb, he carried 
his six feet of manhood like an Apollo in tweeds. 
He was introduced to the girls, — the men he 
knew, — but he was not so quick i.i his speeches 
to them. Our Hercules was only mildly cor. 
scious of his merits, and was evidently relieved 
when Jack hurried him off to his room to dress 
for dinner. When he was fairly out of hearing 
there was a chorus of comments. The girls 



1 

i 



103 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 









him handsome, and the boys 



all declaimed 

said: — 

"That isn't the best o! it, — he's a trump/ 

Wait till you know him." 
Jane was too loyal to Jack to admit that his 

friend was any handsomer or in any way a 

finer fellow than her brother. 

"Who said he was?" said Frank. "Jack 

Williams is out and out the finest man I know. 

We were sizing him up by such fellows as Phil 

and me." 

" Jack's the most popular man at Yale," said 

Phil, « but he's too modest to know it ; Jarris 

will tell you so. He thinks it's a great snap to 
have Jack for his chum." 

These things were music in my ears, for I was 
quite willin, agree with the boys, and the 

mother's eye. wre full of joy as she led the 
way to the c ling room. That was a jolly 
meal. Nothing was said that could be remem- 
bered, and yet we all talked a great deal and 
laughed a great deal more. City, country, farm, 
college, and seminary were touched with merry 
jests. Light wit provoked heavy laughter, and 
every one was the better for it. It was nine o'clock 

before we left the teble. I heard Jarvis say : 

"Miss Jane, I count it very unkind of Jack 
not to have let me go to Farmington with him 
last term. He used to talk of his ' little sister ' 
as though she were a miss in short dresses. Jack 
is a deep and treacherous fellow ! " 



CHRISTMAS EVK 



198 



"Rather say, a very prudent brother," *aid 
Jane. "However, you may come to the Elm 
Tree Inn in the spring term, if Jack will let 
you." 

« I'll work him all winter," was Jarvis's reply. 



■4 



CHAPTER XXXIV 





1 




J* 


( 





1 .1: 



CHRISTMAS 

Chbistmas light was slow in coming There 
was a hush in the air as if the earth were 
padded so that even the footsteps of Nature 
might not be heard. Out of ,ny window I saw 
that a great fall of snow had come in the night 
The whole landscape was covered by fleecy down 
— soft and white as it used to be when I first 
saw it on the hills of New England. No wind 
had moved it; it lay as it fell, like a white 
mantle thrown lightly over the world Great 
feathery flakes filled the air and gently descended 
upon the earth, like that beautiful Spirit that 
made the plains of Judea bright two thousand 
years ago. It seemed a fitting emblem of that 
nature which covered the unloveliness of the 
world by His own beauty, and changed the dark 
spots of earth to pure white. 

It was an ideal Christmas morning, _ clean 
and beautiful. Such a wealth of purity was in 
the r,,.r that all the world was clothed with it 
Ihe earth accepted the beneficence of the skies 
and the trees bent in thankfulness for their 
beautiful covering. It was a morning to make 

194 



CHRISTMAS 



1«6 






one thoughtful, — to make one thankful, too, for 
home and friends and country, and a future that 
could be earned, where the white folds of useful- 
ness and purity would cover man's inheritance 
of selfishness and passion. 

For an hour I watclied the big flakes fall ; 
and, as I watched, I dreamed the dream of peace 
for all tlie world. The brazen trumpet of war 
was a thing of the past. The white dove of 
peace had built her nest in the cannon's mouth 
and stopped its awful roar. The federation of 
the world was secured by universal intelligence 
and community of interest. Envy and selfish- 
ness and hypocrisy, and evil doing and evil 
speaking, were deeply covered by the snowy 
mantle that brought " peace on earth and good 
will to men." 

My dream was not dispelled by any rude 
awakening. As the house threw off the fetters 
of the night and gradually struggled into activity, 
it was in such a fresh and loving manner and 
with such thoughtful solicitude for each member 
of our world, that I walked in my dream all 
day. 

The snow fell rapidly till noon, and then the 
sun came forth from the veil of clouds and cast 
its southern rays across the white expanse with 
an effect that drew exclamations of delight from 
all who had eyes to see. No wind stirred the 
air, but ever and anon a bright avalanche would 
slide from bough or bush, sparkle and gleam as 



i;:.« 



196 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



§ 



¥ 



9 *!} 






the sun caught it, and then sink gently into the 
deep lap spread below. The bough would spring 
as Jf to catch its beautiful load, and, failing in 
this, would throw up its head and try to look 
unconcerned, — though quite evidently conscious 
of Its bereavement. 

The appearance of the sun brought signs of 
life and activity. The men improvised a snow, 
plough, the strong horses floundering in fro - ; of it 
made roads and paths through the two >et of 
feathers that hid the world. 

After lunch, the young people went for a frolic 
m the snow. Two hours later the shaking of 
garments and stamping of feet gave evidence of 
the return of the party. Stepping into the hall 
1 was at once surrounded by the handsomest 
troupe of Esquimaux that ever invaded the tem- 
perate zone. The snow clung lovingly to their 
wet clothing and would not be shaken off; their 
cheeks were flushed, their eyes bright, and their 
voices pitched at an out-of-doors key. 

« Away to your rooms, every one of you, and 
get into dry clothes," said I. « Don't dare show 
yourselves until the dinner bell rings. I'll send 
each of you a hot negus, — it's a prescription and 
must be taken ; I'm a tyrant when professional." 
We saw nothing .nore of them until dinner 
The young ladies came in white, with their 
maiden shoulders losing nothing by contact with 
their snow-white gowns. All but Miss Jessie 
whose dress was a pearl velvet, buttoned close t^ 



CHRISTMAS jg^ 

her slender throat. I Wed this style best but 

prettier than Jane's white shoulders. 

The table was loaded, as Christmas tables 
should be, and, as I asked God's bless^L nn i^ 

rolfed I'lTth'" ■■""' I" ^'^^ ^■•^^* »•-•« were 
roiled up and the young folks danced to Laura's 

nusic, which could inspire unwilling feet But 

^^ Si^rr^tr.^--^ 

Christmas Carol." No one reads', kf^oS' 

fut rul' " -r "' ^^'^"•^ "^^«'- *° l^now fadgue' 
but runs on like a musical brook. When theri,! 
-g -as over, a hush of ^.tisfied e^o^metTad 
teken possession of us all. It was noT broken 
tha r ''T '""''^ ^° *»>« pi-no and san! 
fa^kvf "T" C'""' "^^'''l' Kindly 4^1" 
Jack wac close beside her, his blue e4 si fniL 
with an appreciation of which any woman 3 

wlthT^Hrhlta^nV" ^^ ^^-y 
^theredinmyttoatt/rr^VZ 






198 



THE PAT OF THE LAND 




away. Polly was searching fruitlessly for some- 
thing to dry the tears that overran her eyes, and 
I was able to lend her aid, but the accommoda- 
tion was of the nature of a " call loan." 

As we separated for the night, Jarvis said: 
« Lady mother, this day has been a revelation to 
me. If I live a hundred years, I shall never 
forget it." I was slow in bringing it to a close. 
As I loitered in my room, I heard the shuffling 
of plippered feet in the hall, and a timid knock 
at Polly's door. It was quickly opened for Jane 
and Jessie, and i heard sobbing voices say : 

« Momee, we want to cry on your bed," and, 
« Oh, Mrs. Williams, why can't all days be like 
this 1 " 

Polly's voice was low and indistinct, but I 
know that it carried strong and loving counsel ; 
and, as I turned to my pillow, I was still dream- 
ing the dream of the morning. 



CHAPTER XXXV 



WE CLOSE THE BOOKS FOB '96 

The morning after Christmas broke clear, with 
a wind from the south tliat promised to malce 
quick work of the snow. The young people 
were engaged for the evening, as indeed for most 
evenings, in the hospitable village, and they 
spent the day on the farm as pleased them best. 

There were many things to interest city-bred 
folk on a place like Four Oaks. Everything was 
new to them, and they wanted to see the work- 
ings of the factory farm in all its detail. They 
made friends with the men who had charge of 
the stock, and spent much time in the stables. 
Polly and I saw them occasionally, but they did 
not need much attention from us. We have 
never found it necessary to entertain our friends 
on the farm. They seem to do that for them- 
selves. We simply live our lives with them, and 
they live theirs with us. This works well both 
for the guests and for the hosts. 

The great event of the holiday week was a 
New Year Eve dance at the Country Club. 
Every member was expected to appear in person 
or by proxy, as this was the greatest of many 
functions of the year. 

199 



if" 






J 



fcr 



200 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



W-. t' 



Sunday was warm and sloppy, and little could 
be done out of doors. Part of the household were 
for church, and the rest lounged until luncheon ; 
then Polly read " Sonny " until twilight, and 
Laura played strange music in the half-dark. 

The next day the men went into town to look 
about, and to lunch with some college chums. 
As they would not return until five, the ladies 
had the day to themselves. They read a little, 
slept a little, and talked much, and were glad 
when five o'clock and the men came. Tea was 
so hot and fragrant, the house so cosey, and the 
girls so pretty, that Jack said : — 

" What chumps we men were to waste the 
whole day in town ! " 

" And what do you expect of men, Mr. Jack ? " 
said Jessie. 

"Yes, I know, the old story of pearls and 
swine, but there are pearls and pearls." 

« Do you mean that there are more pearls than 
swine, Mr. Jack ? For, if you do, I will take issue 
with you." 

" If I am a swine, I will be an aesthetic one and 
wear the pearl that comes my way," said Jack, 
looking steadily into the eyes of the high-headed 
girl. 

« Will you have one lump or two ? " 

« One," said Jack, as he took his cup. 

The last day of the year came all too quickly 
for both young and old at Four Oaks. Polly and 
I went into hiding in the office in the afternoon 



WE CLOSE THE BOOKS FOE '96 201 

to make up tlie accounts for the year. As Polly 
had spent tho larger lump sum, I could face her 
with greater boldness than on the previous occa- 
sion. Here is an excerpt from the farm ledger : 

Expended in 1896 943,309 

Interest on pievioas account .... 2 200 

„ . Total WSiaOO 

Beeeipts 5,105 

Net expense (40,404 

PreTious account 44 qoq 

«84,404 

The farm civves me a little more than 184,000. 
« Not so good as I hoped, and not so bad as I 
feared," said Polly. « We will win out all right, 
Mr. Headman, though it does seem a lot of 
money." 

" Like the Irishman's pig," quoth I. « Pat 
said, <It didn't weigh nearly as much as I ex- 
pected, but I never thought it would.' " 

There was little to depress us in the past, and 
nothing in the present, so we joined the young 
people for the dance at the Club. 



l-i 



CHAPTER XXXVI 



OUB FRIENDS 



After our guests had departed, to college or 
school or home, the house was left almost 
deserted. ' We did not shut it up, however. 
Fires were bright on all hearths, and lamps 
were kept burning. We did not mean to lose 
the cheeriness of the house, tiiough much of 
the family had departed. For a wonder, the 
days did not seem lonesome. After the first 
break was over, we did not find time to think of 
our solitude, and as the weeks passed we won- 
dered what new wings had caused them to fly 
so swiftly. Each day had its interests of work 
or study or social function. Stormy days and 
unbroken evenings were given to reading. We 
consumed many books, both old and new, and 
w 3 were not forgotten by our friends. The dull 
days of winter did not drag ; indeed, they were 
accepted with real pleasure. Our lives had 
hitherto been too much filled with the hurry 
and bustle inseparable from the fashionable ex- 
istence-struggle of a large city to permit us to 
settle down with quiet nerves to the real happi- 
ness of home. So much of enjoyment accom- 



OUR FRIENDS 



903 



panics and depends upon tranquillity of mind, 
that we are apt to miss half of it in the tur- 
moil of work-strife and social-strife that fill the 
best years of most men and women. 

It is a pity that all overwrought people can- 
not have a chance to relax their nerves, and to 
learn the possibilities of happiness that are within 
them. Most of the jars and bickerings of domes- 
tic life, most of the mental and moral obliquities, 
depend upon threadbare nerves, either inherited 
or uncovered by friction incident to getting on 
in the world. I never understood the comforts 
that follow in the wake of a quiet, unambitious 
life, until such a life was forced upon me. When 
you discover these comforts for the first time, you 
marvel that you have foregone them so long, and 
are fain to recommend them to all the world. 

Polly and I had gotten on reasonably well up 
to this time ; but before we became conscious of 
any change, we found ourselves drawn closer 
together by a multitude of small interests com- 
mon to both. After twenty-five years of married 
life it will compensate any man to take a little 
time from business and worry that he may 
become acquainted with his wife. A few for- 
tunate men do this early in life, and they draw 
compound interest on the investment; but most of 
us feel the cares of life so keenly that we take 
them home with us to show in our faces and to 
sit at our tables and to blight the growth of that 
cheerful intercourse which perpetuates love an4 



'm\ 



ill 



•i04 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



cements friendship in the home as well as in the 
world. 

There were no serious cares nowadays, snd 
time passed so smoothly at Four Oalts that we 
wondered at the picnic life that had fallen to us. 
The village of Exeter was alive in all things 
social. The city familie.s who had farms or 
country places near tlie villaj;e were so fond of 
them that they rarely closed them for more than 
two or three months, and these months were as 
liltely to come in surai.ier as in winter. 

Our friends the Gordons made Homestead Farm 

their permanent residence, though they kept open 

house in town. Beyond the Gordons' was the 

modest home of an Irish baronet. Sir Thomas 

O'Hera. Sir Tom was a bachelor of sixty. He 

had run through two fortunes (as became an Irish 

baronet) in the racing field and at Homburg, and as 

a young man he had lived ten years at Limmer's 

tavern in London. When not in training to ride 

his own steeplechasers, he was putting up his 

hands against any man in England who would 

face him for a few friendly rounds. He was not 

always victorious, either in the field, before the 

green cloth, or in the ring ; but he was always a 

kind-hearted gentleman who would divide his 

last crown with friend or foe, and who could 

accept a beating with grace and ui. iffled spirit. 

He could never ride below the welter weight, 

and after a few years he outgrew this weight 

and was forced to give up the least --pensive of 



OUK FRIENDS 



905 



his diversions. The green cloth now received 
more of his attention, and, as a matter of course, 
of his money. Things went badly with him, and 
he began to see the end of his second fortune 
before he called a ha't. Bad times in Ireland 
seriously reduced his rents, and he was forced to 
dispose of his salable estates. Then he came to 
this country in the hope of recouping himself, arid 
to get away from tlie i'..st set that surrounded him. 
« I can resist anything but temptation," this 
warm-hearted Irishman would say ; and that was 
tl;e keynote of his character. 

Though Sir Tom was only sixty years old, he 
Icclied seventy. He was much broken in health 
by gout and the fast pace of his early manhood. 
But his spirit was untouched by misfortune, dis- 
ease, or hardship. His courage was as good as 
when he served as a subaltern of the Guards in 
the trenches before Sebastopol, or presented his 
body as a mark for the sledge-hammer blows of 
Tom Sayers, just for diversion. His constitution 
must have been superb, for even in his decrepi- 
tude he was good to look upon : five feet ten, fine 
body, slightly given to rotundity, legs a little 
shrunken in the shanks, but giving unmistakable 
signs of what they had been (« not lost, but gone 
before," as he would say of them), hands and 
feet aristocratic in form and well cared for, and 
a fine head set on broad shoulders. His hair was 
thin, and he parted it with great exactness in 
the middle. His eyes were brown, large, and 



W 

? 



ii 



I! 






m 



/ ja 



2oe 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



■I 



of exceeding softness. His nose was straight 
in spite of many a contusion, and his whole 
expression was that of a high-bred gtntleman 
somewhat the worse for wear. Sir Tom was 
perfectly groomed when he came forth from 
his chamber, which was usually about ten in the 
morning. 

Those of us who had access to his rooms often 
wondered how he ever got out of tliem loolting so 
immaculate, for they were a perfectly impassable 
jungle to the stranger. Such a tangle of trunks, 
hand-bags, rug bundles, clothes, boots, pajamas, 
newspapers, scrap-books, B. & S. bottles, could 
hardly be found anywhere else in the world. 
He had a fondness for newspaper clippings, 
8^d 'i -d tru'.iks of them, sorted into bundles or 
pasted in scrap-books. Old volumes of Bull's 
Z\fe filled more than one trunk, and on one 
occasion when he and I were spending a long 
evening together, in celebration of his recent 
recovery from an attack of gout, and when he 
had done more than usual justice to the B. & S. 
bottles and less than usual justice to his gout, 
he showed me the record of a long-gone year in 
which this same Bell's Life called him the " first 
among the gentlemen riders in the United King- 
dom," and proved this assertion by showing how 
he had won most of the great steeple-chases in 
England and Ireland, riding his own horses. 
This was the nearest approach to boasting that 
ever came to my knowledge in the years of our 



OUR FRIENDS 



207 



close friendship, and I would never have thought 
of it as such had I not seen that he regarded it 
as unwarrantable self-praise. 

I have never known a mon' simple, kind- 
hearted, agreeable, and lovable gentleman than 
this broken-down sporting man and gambler. 
I loved him as a brother ; and though he has 
passed out of my life, I still !< ve the memory 
of his genial face, his courtesy, his unselfish 
friendship, more than words can express. A 
tender heart and a gentle spirit found strange 
housing in a body given over to reckless prodi- 
gality. The combination, tempered by time and 
exhaustion, showed nothing that was not lov- 
able ; and it is scant praise to say that Sir 
Thomas was much to me. 

He was just as acceptable to Polly. No 
woman could fail to appreciate the homage 
which he never failed to show to the wife and 
mother. Many winter evenings at Four Oaks 
were made brighter by his presence, and we 
grew to expect him at least three nights each 
week. His plate was placed on our round table 
these nights, and he rarely failed to use it ; and 
the B. & S. bottles were near at hand, and his 
favorite brand of cigars within easy reach. 

" I light a ' baccy ' by your permission, Mrs. 
Williams," anc' ,i courtly bow accompanied the 
words. 

At 9.30 William came to bring Sir Tom 
home. The leave-taking was always formal with 



:m 



I .. - 



208 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



,1 






Polly, but with me it was, «Ta-ta, WilI^^•ill3 — 
see you later," and our guest would hoi ble out 
on his poor crippled feet, waving his hcmd gal- 
lantly, with a voice as cheery as a boy's. 

Another family whom I wish the reader to 
know well is the Kyrles. For more than twenty- 
five years we have known no joys or sorrows which 
they did not feel, and no interests that touched 
them have failed to leave a mark on us. We could 
not have •■ been more intimate or better friends 
had the closest blood tie united us. The acquaint- 
ance of young married couples had grown into 
a friendship that was bearing its best fruit at 
a time when best fruit was most appreciated. 
We do not consider a pleasure more than half 
complete until we have told it to Will and 
Frances Kyrle, for their delight doubles our 
happiness. 

They were among the earliest of my patients, 
and they are easily first among our friends. I 
have watched more than a half-dozen of their 
children from infancy to adult life, and this 
alone would be a strong bond ; but in addition 
to this is the fact that the whole family, from 
father to youngest child, possess in a wonderful 
degree that subtle sense of true camaraderie 
which is as rare as it is charming. 

The Kyrles lived in the city, but they were 
foot-free, and we could count on having them 
often. Four Oaks was to be, if we had our way, 
a country home for them almost as much as for 



OUE FRIEIfDS 809 

us. Indeed, one of the rooms was called the 
Kyrles' room, and they came to i I at will. Enough 
about our friends. We must go back to the 
farm interests, which are, indeed, the only ex- 
cuse for this history. 



I'kr 



lli 



ifi! 



i ^1 



CHAPTER XXXVII 



THE HEADMAN'S JOB 






■ *( 






OuE life at Four Oaks began in earnest in 
January, 1897. Even during tlie winter months 
there was no lack of employment and interest 
for the Headman. I breakfasted at seven, and 
from that time until noon I was as busy as if I 
were working for $20 a month. The master's 
eye is worth more than his hand in a factory like 
mine. My men wore, and are, an iniusual lot, 
— intelligent, sober, and willing, — but they, 
like others, are apt to fall into routine ways, and 
thereby to miss points which an observing pro- 
prietor would not overlook. 

The cows, for instance, were all fed the same 
ration. Fifteen pounds of mixed grains was 
none too much for the big Holstein milk-makers, 
who were yielding well and looking in perfect 
health ; but the common cows were taking on 
too much flesh and falling off in milk. I at once 
changed the ration for these six cows by leaving 
out the corn entirely and substituting oat straw 
for alfalfa in the cut feed. The change brought 
good results in five of the cows ; the other one 
aw 



THE HEADMAN'S JOB 



211 



did not pick up in her milk, and after a reason- 
able trial I sold her. 

The herd was doing excellently for mid-winter, 
— the yield amounted to a daily average of 840 
pounds throughout the month, and I was able to 
make good my contract with the middleman. I 
coulu see breakers ahead, however, and it be- 
hooved me to make ready for them. I decided 
to buy ter more thoroughbreds in new milk, if 
I could find them. I wrote to the people from 
whom I had purchased the ."rst herd, and after 
a little delay secured nine cows in fresh milk 
and about four years old. This addition came 
in February, and kept my milk supply above the 
danger point. Since then I have bought no 
cows. Thirty-four of these thoroughbreds are 
L.lll at Four Oaks — two of them have died, and 
three have been sold for not keeping up to the 
standard — and are doing grand service. Their 
numbers have been reenforoed by twenty of their 
best daughters, so there are at this writing fifty- 
four milch cows and five yearling heifers in the 
herd. Most of the calves have been disposed of 
as soon as weaned. I have no room for more 
stock on my place, and it doesn't pay to keep 
them to sell as cows. Four Oaks is not a breed- 
ing farm, but a factory farm, and everything has 
to be subordinated to the factory idea. 

My thoroughbred calves have brought me an 
average price of |12 each at four to six weeks, 
sold to dairymen, and I am satisfied to do busi- 



2Hfl ■ 



ii 



\\.' 



^m\ 



212 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



l¥. 



necs in that way. The nine milch cows which 
I bought to complete the herd cost, delivered at 
Four Oaks, §1012. 

All the grain fed to cows, horses, and hogs, 
and a portion of that fed to chickens, is ground 
fine before feeding. The grinding is done in 
the granary by a mill with a capacity of forty 
bushels an hour. We make corn meal, corn and 
cob meal, and oatmeal enough for a week's sup- 
ply ill a few hours. All hay and straw is cut 
fine, before being fed, by a power cutter in the 
forage ban., and from thence is taken by teams 
in box racks to the feeding rooms, where it is 
wetted with hot water and mixed with the 
ground feed for the cows and horses, and steamed 
or cooked with the ground feed for the hogs and 
hens. 

Alfalfa is the only hay used for the hens, and 
wonderfully good it is for them. Besides feed 
for the hogs, we have to provide ashes, salt, and 
charcoal for them. These three things are kept 
constantly before them in narrow troughs set so 
near the wall that they cannot get their feet into 
them. 

We carefully save all wood ashes for the hogs 
and hens, and we bum our own charcoal in a pit 
in the wood lot. Five cords of sound wood make 
an abundant supply for a year. I think this side 
dish constantly before swine goes a long way 
toward keeping them healthy Clean pens, well- 
balanced and well-cooked food, pure water, and 



THE HEADMAN'S JOB 



213 



this medicine can be counted on to keep a grow- 
ing and fattening herd healtliy during its nine 
months of life. 

It is claimed that it is unnatural and artificial 
to confine these young things within such narrow 
limits, and so it is; but the whole scheme is 
unnatural, if you please. The pig is born to die, 
and to die quickly, for the profit and mainten- 
ance of man. What could be more unnatural ? 
Would he be better reconciled to his fate after 
spending his nine months between field and sty ? 
I wot not. The Chester White is im indolent 
fellow, and I suspect he loves his comfortable 
house, his cool stone porch, his back yard to dig 
in, his neighbors across the wire fence to gossip 
with, and his well-balanced, well-cooked food 
served under his own nose three times a day. 
At least he looks content in his piggery, and 
grows faster and puts on more flesh in his 
250 days than does his neighbor of the field. 
Tf the hog's profitable life were twice or 
thrice as long, I would advocate a wider lib- 
erty for the early part of it ; but as it doesn't 
pay to keep the animal after he is nine months 
old, the quickest way to bring him to perfection 
is the best. One cannot afford to graze animals 
of any kind when one is trying to do intensive 
farming. It is indirect, it is wasteful of space 
and energy, and it doesn't force the highest 
product. Grazing, as compared with soiling, 
may be economical of labor, but as I understand 



I 

'M 



III 



*u 



THE FAT OF THE LAjHD 






" .1 



economics that is the one thing in which we do 
not wish to economize. The multiplication of 
well-paid and well-paying labor is a thing to be 
specially desired. If the soiling farm wiil keep 
two or three more men employed at good wages, 
and at the same time ])ay better intenst than 
the grazing farm, it should be looked upon as 
much the better metliod. The question of fur- 
nishing landscape for hogs is one that borders 
too closely on the aesthetic or the sentimental to 
gain the approval of tlie factory-farm man. 
What is true of hogs is also true of cows. They 
are better off under the constant care of intelli- 
gent and interested human beings than when 
they follow the rippling brook or wind slowly 
o'er the lea at their own sweet pleasure. 

The truth is, the rippling brook doesn't always 
furnish the best water, and the lea furnishes very 
imperfect forage during nine months of the year. 
A twenty-acre lot in good grass, in which to take 
the air, is all that a well-regulated h'^rd of fifty 
cows needs. The clean, cool, calm stable is much 
to their liking, and the regular diet of a first- 
class cow-kitchen insures a uniform flow of 
milk. 

What is true of hogs and cows is true also of 
hens. The common opinion that the farm-raised 
hen that has free range is healthier or happier 
than her sister in a well-ordered hennery is not 
based on facts. Freedom to forage for one's self 
and pick up a precarious living does not always 



THE HEADMAN'S JOB 215 

mean health, happiness, or oomfort. Tlie strenu- 
ous life on tlie 'arm caMnot compare in comfort 
with the rpiiet liouse and the freedom from 
anxiety of the u'cll-tended hen. The vicissitudes 
of life are i irible for the uncooped chicken. 
The occu] .:ats of air, earth, and water lie in 
wail for it. Tt is lair game for the hawk and 
the owl; the fox, th(. weasel, the rat, the wood 
piissy, the cat, and the dos; are its sworn ene- 
mies. The hors.> steps on it, tiie wheel crushes 
it; it falls into the cist.'rn or llie swill barrel; it 
is drenched )>y sliowers or stiffened by frosts, 
and, as the En-lish say, it has a "rather indiffer- 
ent time of it." If it survive the summer, and 
some chickens .lo, it will roost and siiiver on tlie 
limb of an ap])!e tree. Its nest will be accessible 
only to the mink and the rat; and, like Rachel, 
it will mourn for its children, wddcli are not. 

No, the well-yarded hen has by all odds the 
best of it. The wonder is that, with three- 
fourths of the poultry at large and making its 
own living, hens still furnisli a product, in this 
country alone, 8100,000,000 greater in value than 
the whole world's output of gold. Our annual 
production of eggs and poultry foots up to 
*280,000,000,_.«4 apiece for every man, woman, 
and cluld,_and yet j.eople saj- that hens do 
not pay ! 

Each flock of forty hens at Four Oaks has a 
house sixteen feet by twenty, and a run twenty 
feet by one hundr.Hl. f hear no complaints of 



ii 



i 



'llli 



ill 



ij 

hi! 



216 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



close quarters or lack o' freedom, but I do hear 
continually the song Oi contentment, and I see 
results daily that are more satisfactory than those 
of any oil well or mine in which I have ev<3r 
been interested. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII 



SPRING OF '97 

Sam began to make up his breeding pens in 
January. He selected 150 of his favorites, divided 
them into 10 fioclcs of 15, added a fine cockerel 
to each pen (we do not allow cocks or cockerels 
to run with the laying hens), and then began to 
set the incubator house in order. 

He filled the first incubator on Saturday, 
January 30, and from that day until late in 
April he was able to start a fresh machine about 
every six days. Sam reports the total hatch for 
the year as 1917 chicks, out of which number he 
had, when he separated them in the early autumn 
678 pullets to put in the runs for laying hens' 
and 653 cockerels to go to the fattening pens. 
These figures show that Sam was a first-class 
chicken man. 

We secured 300 tons -f ice at the side of the 
lake for §98, having to pay a little more that 
year than the last, on account of the heavy fall 
of snow. 

The wood-house was replenished, although there 

was still a good deal of last year's cut on hand 

We did not fell any trees, for there was still a 

considerable quantity of dead wood on the ground 

817 



f I 



! ! 



218 



THE FAT OF TllK LAM) 



•' S 



which sliould )>!• iisi'tl (htst. I wanted to clear 
out iimcli of liie iisei.'SM tiiiilerhnisli, l)ut wt- Iiail 
only time to make a i)ej;'i lining in lliis elTorl iil 
forestry. We went over perha|is ten acres across 
tlie north line, removing l)riers anil biiisli. Every- 
lliiiiK that lool\(>(l like a iiossilile fnliire (roe was 
left. Aronml oak an<l hickory stiiiii|is we found 
clumps of Ijusiies spriufiinj; from liiing roots. 
Those we cut away, excciit one or iwssiljly two 

of the most thrifty. We trim d olT the lower 

branches of .lliose we saved, and left tliem to 
make such trees as they could. 1 have bi-eii 
ama/.ed to see what a growth an oak-root sprout 
will make a/'er its neigldxirs have been cut 
away. There are some hundreds of tliese trees 
in the forest at I'our Oaks, from five to six inches 
in diameter, which did not measure more than 
one or two inches five years ago. 

As the underlirush was cleared from the wood 
lot, I planned to set young trees to fill vacant 
spaces. The Eurojiean larcli was used in the 
first experiment. In the .spring of 1807 I bouglit 
four thousand seedling larches for sySO, jjlanted 
them in nursery rows in the orchard, cultivated 
(hem for two years, and then transplanted them 
to the forest. The lurch is hardy and grows 
rapidly; and as it is a valual)le tfee for many 
purposes, it is one of the best for forest planting. 
I have planted no others thus far at Four Oaks, 
as the four thousand from my little nursery 
seem to fill all unoccupied spaces. 



SPRING OP -97 219 

Fresh mulching was piled neor all the young 
fruit trees, to be applied as soon as the :-ost was 
ouc of the ground. Several hundreds of loads 
of manure were hauled to the fields, to be spread 
as soon as the snow disappeared. I always re- 
turn manure to the land as soon as it can be 
done conveniently. The manure from the hen- 
house was saved this year to use on the alfalfa 
fields, to see how well it would take the place 
of commercial fertilizer. I may as well give the 
result of ihe experiment now. 

It was mi.\ed with sand and applied at the 
rate of eight hundred pounds an acre for the 
spring dressing over a portion of the alfalfa, 
agamst four hundred pounds an acre of the 
fertilizer 3:8:8. Ai ■ two years I was con- 
vmced that, when used alone, it is not of more 
than half the value of the fertilizer. 

My present practice is to use five hundred 
pounds of hen manure and two hundred pounds 
of fertilizer on each acre for the spring dressing, 
a.id two hundred pounds an acre of the fertilizer 
alone after each cutting except the last We 
have ten or twelve tons of hen manure each 
year, and it is nearly all used on the alfalfa or 
the tiraotliy as spring dressing. It costs nothing, 
and It takes off a considerable sum from the 
fertilizer account. I am not at all sure that the 
scientists would approve this method of using 
It; I can only give my experience, and say that 
It brings me satisfactory crops. 



ml 






iki 



220 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



li 3 



':| •> > 



There was miicli snow in January and Feb- 
niary, and in Marrh much rain. When the 
spring opened, therefore, the ground was full of 
water. This was fortunate, for April and May 
were unusually diy months,— only 1.16 inches of 
water. 

The dry April brought the ploughs out early ; 
but before we put our hands to the plough we 
should make a note of what the first quarter of 
1897 brought into our strong box. 



Sold: 

Butter . 

Cow 

Two gowa 
Total 



•842.00 

401.00 

86.00 

18.00 



•1297.00 



Fifteen of the young sows farrowed in March, 
and the other 9 in April, as also did 18 old 
ones. The young .sows gave us 147 pigs, and 
the old ones 161, so that the sjiri i,^ opened with 
an addition to our stock of "'T) h. ^.d of young 
swine. 

Between March 1 and May 10 were born 
25 calves, which were all sold before July 1. 
The population of our factory farm was in- 
creasing so rapidly that it became necessary to 
have more help. We already had eight men and 
three women, besides the help in the big house. 
One would think that eight men could do the 
work on a farm of 320 acres, and so they can, 
most of the time ; but in seed-time and harvest 



ia-' »-.i. 



SPRING OF "W lu 

thpy are not miffldMit at Four Oaks. We could 
not work the tcdrns. 

Up to March, 1«07, Sum ha.l f„Il charfie of the 
chickens, and als., looked after the hogs, with 
m help of Anderson. Ju.lscn and French had 
<l.e>r hands full in ih.. ,,„v stables, „nd Lars was 
more than busy with the carriage horses and the 
driving. Thompson was working foreman, and 
his son Zeb and Johnson looked after the farm 
horses during the winter and did the general 
work From that time on Sam gave his entire 
time to the chickens, Anderson his entire time to 
the hogs, an<l Johnson begun gardening in real 
earnest. This left only Thompson and Zeb o 
general farm work. 

Again I advertised for two farm hands I 
selected two of the most promising applicants 
and brought them out to the farm. Thompson 
discharged one of them at the end of the first 
day for persistently jerking his team, and the 
other discharged himself at the week's end to 
continue his tramp. Once more I resorted to 
the city papers. This time I was more fortu- 

" .\ "^u ^'^ ^ ^°""« ^^«'«' square-built 
and blond-headed, who said he had worked on 
his father's farm in the old country, and had 
left It because it was too small for the f5ve boys 
Otto was slow of speech and of motion, but he 
said he could work, and I hired him. The other 
man whom I sent to the farm at the same time 
proved of no use whatever. He stayed four 



1 



m 



222 




i I 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



days, and was dismissed for innocuous desuetude. 
Still another man whom I tried did well for five 
weeks, and then broke out in a most profound 
spree, from which he could not be weaned. He 
ended up by an assault on Otto in the stable 
yard. The Swede was taken by surprise, and 
was handsomely bowled over by the first on- 
slaught of his half-drunk, half-crazed antagonist. 
As soon, however, as his slow mind took in the 
fact that he was being pounded, he gathered his 
forces, and, with a grunt for a war-cry, rolled 
his enemy under him, sat upon his stomach, and, 
flat-handed, slapped his face until he shouted for 
aid. The man left the farm at once, and I com- 
mended the Swede for having used the flat of 
his hand. 

In spite of bad luck with the new men we 
were able to plough and seed 144 acres by May 
10. Lots Nos. 8, 12, 13, and 14 were planted to 
corn, and No. 15 sowed to oats, and the 10 acres 
on the home lot were divided between sweet fod- 
der corn, potatoes, and cabbage. The abundant 
water in the soil gave the crops a fair start, and 
June proved an excellent growing month, a rain- 
fall of nearly four inches putting them beyond 
danger from the short water supply of July and 
August. Indeed, had it not been for the gener- 
osity of June we should have been in a bad way, 
for the next three months gave a scant four 
inches of rain. 

The oats made a good growth, though the 



■■A. 



SrCING OF '97 223 

straw was rather short, and the corn did very 
well indeed, — due largely to thorough cultiva- 
tion. Twelve acres of oats wei-c cut for forage 
and the rest yielded 33 bushels to the acre _^a 
little over 1300 bushels. ' 

The alfalfa and timothy made a good start. 
From the former we ,ut, late in June, 24. tons 
to the acre, and from the timothy, in July, 2i 
tons, — 50 tons of timothy and 4.5 of alfalfa 
Each of these fields received the usual top-dress- 
ing after tlie crop was cut ; but the timothy did 
not respond, _ the lato season was too dry. We 
cut two more crops from the alfalfa field, which 
togetlier made a yield of a little more than 2 
tons. The alfalfa in that dry summer gave me 
95 tons of good hay, proving its superiority as a 
dry-weather crojx 

Johnson started tlie ono-and-ono-lialf-acre vege- 
table and fruit garden in April, and devoted much 
of his time to it. His primitive hotbeds gradu- 
ally emptied themselves into the garden, and we 
now began to taste the fruit of our own soil, 
much to the pleasure of the whole colony. It 
is surprising wliat a real gardener can do with a 
garden of this size. By feeding soil and plants 
liberally, he is able to keep the ground producing 
successive crops of vegetables, from the day the 
frost ]ea^■es it in the spring until it again takes 
possession in the fall, without doing any wrong 
to the land. Indeed, our garden grows better 
and more prolific each year in spite of the im- 



; I' 



224 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



P »J 



mense crops that are taken from it. This can 
be done only by a person who knows his busi- 
ness, and Johnson is such a person. He gave 
much of his time to this practical patch, but he 
also worked with Polly among the shrubs on the 
lawn, and in her sunken flower garden, which is 
the pride of her life. We shall hear more about 
this flower garden later on. 

The accounts for the second quarter of the 
year show these items on the income side : — 



Butter i , , 
Eggs 

Twenty-five calves 
Total . 



1 1052.00 
379.00 
276.00 

«1706.00 



CHAPTER XXXIX 



THE YOUNG ORCHARD 

One of the most enjoyable occupations of a 
farmer's life is the care of young trees. Until 
your experience in this work is of a personal and 
proprietary nature, you will not realize the pleas- 
ure It can afford. The intimate study of plant 
life, especially if that plant life is yours, is a never 
failing source of pleasurable speculation, and a 
thing upon which to hang dreams. You grow to 
know each tree, not only by its shape and its 
habit of growth, but also by peculiarities that 
belong to it as an individual. The erect, sturdy 
bearing of one bespeaks a frank, bold nature, 
which makes it willing to accept its surroundings 
and make the most of them ; while the crooked, 
dwarfish nature of another requires the utmost 
care of the husbandman to keep it within the 
bounds of good behavior. And yet we often find 
that the slow-growing, ill-conditioned young tree, 
if properly cared for, will bring forth the finest 
fruit at maturity. 

To study the character and to watch the de- 
velopment of young trees is a pleasing and use- 
ful occupation for the man who thinks of them 

9 226 



(k 



22C 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 




as living things with an inheritance tliat cannot 
be ignored. That seeds in all appearance exactly 
alike should send forth shoots so unlike, is a 
wonder of Nature ; and that j'oung shoots in the 
same soil and with the same care should shr iv 
such dissimilarity in development, is a riddle 
whose answer is .j be found only in the binding 
laws of heredity. That a tiny bud i)iserted under 
the bark of a well-grown tree can change a sour 
root to a sweet bough, ought to make one care, 
ful of the buds which one grafts on the living 
trunk of one's tree of life. The young orchard 
can teach' many lessons to him who is willing to 
be taught ; in the hands of him who is not, the 
schoolmaster has a very sorry time of it, no mat- 
ter how he sets his lessons. 

The side pockets of my jacket are usually 
weighted down with pruning-shears, a sharp knife, 
and a handled copper wire, — always, indeed, 
in June, when I walk in my orchard. June is 
the month of all months for the prudent orchard- 
ist to go thus armed, for the apple-tree borer is 
abroad in the land. When the quick eye of the 
master sees a little pile of sawdust at the base 
of a tree, he knows that it is time for him to sit 
right down by that tree and kill its enemy. The 
sharp knife enlarges the hole, which is the trail 
of the serpent, and the sharp-pointed, flexible 
wire follows the route until it has reached and 
transfixed the borer. 

This is the only way. It is the nature of the 



(^^'-. 



THE YOUNG ORCHARD 



227 

The co„fl,rt i. ,p„p„„|„ „„j ,|,.7„r*; 
""•' " » «» 'v,il. Th, bo„r evil ™ be „ 

o^lt b " °h' ' '"'"" "* "-"^ «™ <1 " 

£..r .btirr.^,:;r.;:.ii 

the necessity of severe correction „ ^ 

A man ought to plant an orch. -• for no 
other reason, that he may have the pleasure of 
^ 'V' ''' ^ ^^^ --PanionshipTthe 
myorchlrra?;!^ '"''°"' ^^^' °^ «--^h fo 

adorned th. f , J ' ^P^^eading heads 

aaorned the tops of the stubs of trees that 

eStrermo' rj;''^^^^"^'^) '^-^^ '-tm n 
eignteen months before. The erowfh nf f 

"»> uid the three-year-oU stem, i( p„pe,,. 



228 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 







managed, have greater possibilities of rapid de- 
velopment than roots or stems of more tender 
age. I think I made no mistake in planting 
three-year-old trees. 

As I worked in my orchard I could not help 
looking forvirard to the time when the trees would 
return a hundred-fold for the care bestowed upon 
them. They would begin to bring returns, in a 
small way, from the fourth year, and after that 
the returns would increase rapidly. It is safe to 
predict that from the tenth to the fortieth year a 
well-managed orchard will give an average yearly 
income of JilOO an acre above all expenses, includ- 
ing interest on the original cost. A fifty-acre or- 
chard of well-selected apple trees, near a first-class 
market and in intelligent hands, means a net 
income of $5000, taking one year with another, 
for thirty or forty years. What kind of invest- 
ment will pay better? What sort of business 
will give larger returns in health and pleasure ? 

I do not mean to convey the idea that forty 
years is the life of an orchard ; hundreds of 
years would be more correct. As trees die from 
accident or decrepitude, others should take their 
places. Thus the lease of life becomes perpetual 
in hands that are willing to keep adding to the 
soil more than the trees and the fruit take from 
it. Comparatively few owners of orchards do 
this, and those who belong to the majority will 
find fault with my figures ; but the thinking few, 
who do not expect to enjoy the fat of the land 



THK YOUNG ORCHAKD 229 

.^•drrwi 1 H ""'r'r'"'*' ''"^ well-marketed 
o. Chard will do much better than my prophecy 
Nature :s a good husbandman so far as '^.he goes' 
but her scheme contemplates only the peroetua 
tion of the tree, by seeds or by other nln!" 
Nature.3pla„Utog^etoeaehspecL:'a„J^'^^^^^^^ 
ration _ Any hmg beyond this is thrown away on 
the andiv.dual, and had better be used for the muT 
t.ply.ng of specimens. When man come to a^ 
somethmgmore than germinating seeds foxt 
plant he must remove it from the crowded dulf 

In other words, he must give it more nZgen 
phosphoric acid, and potash than it can use L; 

t burst forth into flower- or fruit-product N . 

are produces the apple tree, but man must cu ' 
t.vate It and feed it if he would be feT ani" 
comforted by it. People who nelct ttir 
chardscan get neither'pleasure STroJ; Jm 
them, and such persons are not competent M,^ 
m ju gment upon the value of an'apjle re^ 
orch^« A "^^^ '°^'' "°"'-'^'^> ^"d profirby their 
;trJitr:i:-/--^-PP'e cour^t aid 



11 J 



CHAPTER XL 

THE TIMOTHY HARVBST 

On Friday, the 25th, the children came home 
from their schools, and with them came Jim 
Jarvis,to spend the summer holidays. Our in- 
vitation to Jarvis ha i been unanimous when he 
bade us good-by in the winter. Jack was his 
chum, Polly had adopted him, I took to him 
from the first, and Jane, in her shy way, admired 
him greatly. The boys took to farm life like 
ducks to water. They were hot for any kind 
of work, and hot, too, from all kinds. I could 
not offer anything congenial until the timothy 
harvest in July. When this was on, they were 

happy and useful at the same time, a rare 

combination for boys. 

The timothy harvest is attractive to all, and 
it would be hard to find a form of labor which 
contributes more to the assthetic sense than does 
the gathering of this fragrant grass. At four 
o'clock on a fine morning, with the barometer 
"set fair," Thompson started the mower, and 
kept it humming until 6.30, when Zeb, with a 
fresh team, relieved him. Zeb tried to cut a 
little faster than his father, but he was allowed 

230 



THE TIMOTHV HARVEST 



day. At elevero'cloek th^/'r "" '"« ^''^^ 
«nd in two l.ours the ct t^"' ^^' ''^''^d. 

At three o'clook tJenak! ^T.' '"''' ''««" ^"'•"ed 
■•ows, from whrch itt^ ^ n'?'^ " '■"'° ^ind- 
'-eaps.orcocks o .kZ,:'"!^'' -d pHed into 
pounds each. The n.n ,^ "^ ^'S''* ''""dred 

•n -fe bunches Vr'^d!' tn'""""'"^ -- 
through the process of ,i f ^'"' ^'"''•^ to go 
the next da^. ZlZ ^''^ ""til ten o'clock 
out for four hours ahllT T!!'^ *"'' ''"ffed 
teams turned to and h "f- **" ''""''^ «"d «» 
b^„ and hauled it into the forage 

The grass that was ci.t „„ 
housed as hay by Z s " T !"r"'"S ^'"^ safely 
was favorable ;lf 1:^7°"^ "'? ^ '^ the ^veather 
haycocks, even from ' ^^ ''"'" ''^'•"' '» the 

^•eaehth;ttai::rs:r;Ly^"-^'^-- 

--?ar/„e-iXC"t'"-^^^^^ 

to eat or man could wish^„'' """'^^ '=°"''' -i«h 

™t on Tuesday, the 6tr5 V''- 7^' ""'^^ to 
e^'ening the tw^ntval "^' ""^ ''^ Saturday 

The boys blistered"^ thert' 7" ""'^'- ^-^ 
handles, and their face „,v "j"^ '^' ^'^^^ 
;;« -n's rays, and iT^Ztuult ^""^ ""^^ 
the blisters. Indeed tZ *''® ^""-k and 

'« work fit for a priel"! ''""' ''•^^'^"* ^^^ 
to better advanC o,' " " '"^" ""''''' ^""^^ 
— olentwiSi^pX-^^han 



232 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



•i,'.; 



II 







!);.■ 



over the crook in his elbow and listens to the 
gurgle of the home-made ginger ale as it changes 
from jug to throat. There may be joys in other 
drinks, but for solid comfort and refreshment give 
me a July hay-field at 3 p.m., a jug of water at 
forty-eight degrees, with just the amount of 
molasses, vinegar, and ginger that is Polly's secret, 
and I will give c->,rds and spades to the broadest 
goblet of bubbles that was ever poured, and beat 
it to a standstill. Add to this a blond head 
under a broad hat, a thin white gown, such as 
grasshoppers love, and you can see why the 
emptying of tlie jug was a satisfying function 
in our field ; for Jane was the one who presided 
at these afternoon teas. Often Jane was not 
alone; Florence or Jessie, or both, or others, 
made hay while the sun shone in those July days, 
and many a load went to the bam capped with 
whi and laughter. The young people decided 
thf JL hay farm would be ideal — no end better 
thaa a factory farm — and advised me to put all 
the land into timothy and clover. I was not too 
old to see the beauties of haying-time, with such 
voluntary labor ; but I was too old and too much 
interested with my experiment to be cajoled by 
a lot of youngsters. I promised them a week of 
haying in each fifty-two, but that was all the 
concession I would make. Laura said : — 

« We are commanded to make hay while the 
sun shines ; and the sun always shines at Four 
Oaks, for me." 



i fefeg 



THE TIMOTHY HARVEST 



233 

It was pretty of her to say that; but what 
else would one expect from Laura? 

The twelve acres from which the fodder oats 
had been cut were ploughed and fitted for su " r 
eets an.l turnips. I was not at all certain Tt 
^he beets would do anything if sown so la" bu 
I was gcng to try. Of the turnips I cou d fee 
more certain, for doth not the poet say:!! 

"The 25th day of July, 
Sow your turnips, wet or dry" ? 

nfe nf. . T ^^ '"'"'"« •'"'f °" th« 24th and 

me ^t:ft"^'''?'''''"^''^'---« 
VVi,ether the turnip god was offended by the 

mctured rule and refused his blessing, or whether 

the dry August and September preven ed fuH 

[h ^Tk'^ r' ^''^" ' ^"" ^y- Certru't 
that I had but a half crop of turnips and a beg 

Some it, °' '"^^° '=°'"^°'-' -« -d the hS. 
Poflvrio '=°"^°''''^'°"' '-wever, was foundin 
Polly s joy over a small crop of currants which 
her yearlmg bushes produced. I also heaJd 
rumors of a few cherries which turned heir red 
^heeks to the sun for one happy day, and then 
dKsappeared. Cock Robin's breast w;s red S 
nex n r„ „g, ,„, „„ ^^.^ circumstantial ev^ 
dence Polly accused him. He pleaded «not 
gudty" and strutted on the lawn with his 

1? ; ;>"."'' '™''°'^^ °f ^"'^ -^-t^°-t and h s 
suspected breast as much i„ evidence as a pouter 



u 



!l I 



lu 



'11 



sai 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



pigeon's. A jury, mostly of blackbirds, found 
the ehnrgn " not proven," and the case was dis- 
missed. I was convinced by the result of this 
trial that the only safe way would be to provide 
enough cherries for the birds and for the pe.plo 
too, and ordered fifty more trees for fall plant- 
ing. I found by experience, tliiit if one would 
have bird neighbors (and who would not?), he 
must provide liberally for their wants and also 
for their luxuries. I have stolen a march as 
to the cherries by planting scores of mulberry 
trees, both native and Russian. Birds love mul- 
berries even better than they do cherries, and we 
now eat our pies in peace. To make amends for 
this ruse, I have established a number of drink- 
ing fountains and free baths ; all of which have 
helped to make us friends. 

In August I sold, near the top of a low mar- 
ket, 156 young hogs. At *4.50 per hundred, the 
bunch netted me fl807. They did not weigh 
quite as much as those sold the previous autumn, 
and I found two waj-s of accounting for this. 
The first and most probable was that fall pigs do 
not grow so fast as those farrowed in the spring. 
This is sufficient to account for the fact that the 
herd average was twenty pounds lighter than 
that of its predecessor. I could not, however, 
get over the notion that Anderson's nervousness 
had in some way taken possession of the swine 
(we have Holy Writ for a similar case), and that 
they were wasted in growth by his spirit of 



THE TIMOTHY HARVEST 335 

unrest. He was uniformly kind to tliem and 
faithful witli their food, but there was JHoking 
that sense . -ordini sympathy whi.h should 
exist betw... ;,og nnd man if both would appear 
at their best. p:von when Anderson came to 
their pens reeking with the rich savor of the food 
they loved, their o.irs would prick up (as much 
as a Chester White's ears can), and with a 
"woof 1" they wouhl shoot out the door, only to 
return in a moment with the greatest confidence 
I never heard that " woof " and saw the stampede 
without looking around for the " steep place " and 
the "sea," feeling sure that the incident lacked 
only these accessories to make it a catastrophe. 

Anderson was good and faithful, and he would 
work his arms and legs o(T for the pigs; hut the 
spirit of unrest entered every herd which he kept, 
though neither he nor I saw it clearly enough to 
go and '• tell it in the city." With other swine- 
herds my hogs averaged from fifteen to eighteen 
pounds better than with faithful Anderson, and 
I am, therefore, competent to speak of the gross 
weight of the spirit of contentment. 



If 



I 






*l 



CHAPTER XLI 
BTBiKE AT Gordon's minb 

Frank Gordon owned a coal mine about six 
miles west of the village of Exeter, and four 
miles from Four Oaks. A village called Gordon- 
ville had sprung up at the mouth of the mine. 
It was the home of the three hund^'id miners 
and their families, — mostly Huns, but with a 
sprinkling of Cornishmen. 

The houses were built by the owner of the 
mine, and were leased to the miners at a small 
yearly rental. They were modest in structure, 
but they could be made inviting and neat if the 
occupants were thrifty. No one was allowed to 
sell liquor on the property owned by the Gordons, 
but outside of this limit was a fringe of low 
saloons which did a thriving business oft the im- 
provident miners. 

There had never been a strike at Gordonville, 
and such a thing seemed improbable, for Gordon 
was a kind master, who paid his men promptly 
and looked after their interests more than is 
usual for a capitalist. 

It was, therefore, a distinct surprise when the 
foreman of the mine telephoned to Gordon one 
236 



8TEIKE AT GORDON'S MINE 



237 



July morning that the men had struck work. 
Gordon did not understand the reason of it, but 
he expressed himself as being heartily glad, for 
financial reasons, that the men had gone out. 
He had more than enough coal on the surface 
and in cars to supply the demand for the next 
three months, and it would be money in his 
pocket to dispose of his coal without having to 
pay for the labor of replacing it. 

During the day the reason for the strike was 
announced. From the establishment of the 
mine it had been the custom for the miners to 
have their tools sharpened at a shop built and 
run by the property. This was done for the 
accommodation of the men, and the charge for 
keeping the tools sharp was ten cents a week 
for each man, or 15 a year. For twenty years 
no fault had been found with the arrange- 
ment ; it had been looked upon as satisfactory, 
especially by the men. A walking delegate, 
mousing around the mine, and finding no other 
cause for complaint, had lighted upon this prac- 
tice, and he told the men it was a shame that 
they should have to pay ten cents a week out of 
their hard-earned wages for keeping their tools 
sharp. He said that it was the business of the 
property to keep the tools sharp, and that the 
men should not be called upon "to pay for that 
service ; that they ought, in justice to themselves 
and for the dignity of associated labor, to de- 
mand that this onerous tax be removed ; and, to 



' 4 



238 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



insure its removal, he declared a strike on. This 
was the reason, and the only reason, for the 
strike at Gordon's mine. Three hundred men 
quit work, and three hundred families suffered, 
many of them for the necessities of life, simply 
because a loud-mouthed delegate assured them 
that they were being imposed upon. 

Things went on quietly at the mine. There 
was no riot, no disturbance. Gordon did not go 
over, but simply telephoned to the superintend- 
ent to close the shaft houses, shut down the 
engines,, put out the fires, and let things rest, at 
the same time saying that he would hold the 
superintendent and the bosses responsible for the 
safety of the plant. 

The men were disappointed, as the days went 
by, that the owner made no effort to induce 
them to resume work. They had believed that 
he would at once accede to their demand, and 
that they would go back to work with the tax 
removed. This, however, was not his plan. 
Weeks passed and the men became restless. 
They frequented the saloons more generally, 
spent their remaining money for liquor, and 
went into debt as much as they were permitted 
for more liquor. They became noisy and quarrel- 
some. The few men who were opposed to the 
strike could make no headway against public 
opinion. These men held aloof from the saloons, 
husbanded their money, and confined themselves 
as much as possible to their own houses. 



STRIKE AT GORDON'S MINE 239 

Things had gone on in this way for six weeks. 
The men grew more and more restless and more 
dissipated. Again the walking delegate came 
to encourage them to hold out. Mounted on an 
empty coal car, he made an inflammatory speecli 
to the men, advising them not only to hold out 
against the owner, but also to prevent the em- 
ployment of any other help. If this should not 
prove sufficient, he advised them to wreck the 
■ mining property and to Are the mine, — anything 
to bring the owner to terms. 

Jack and Jarvis went for a long walk one 
day, and their route took them near Gordonville. 
Seeing the men collected in such numbers around 
a coal car, they approached, and heard the last 
half of this inflammatory speech. As the walk- 
ing delegate finished, Jack jumped up on the car, 
and said : — 

" McGinnis has had his .say ; now, men, let me 
have mine. There are always two sides to a 
question. You have heard one, let me give you 
the other. I am a delegate, self-appointed, from 
the amalgamated Order of Thinkers, and I want 

you to listen to our view of this strike, and of 

all strikes. I want you also to think a little as 
well as to listen. 

"You have been led into this position by a 
man whose sole business is to foment discords 
between working-men and their employers. The 
moment these discords cease, that moment this 
man loses his job and must work or starve like 



240 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



the rest of you. He is, therefore, an interested 
party, and he is more than likely to be biassed by 
what seems to be his interest. He has made no 
argument ; he has simply asserted things which 
are not true, and played upon your sympathies, 
emotions, and passions, by the use of the stale war- 
cries — ' oppression,' ' down-trodden working- 
man,' 'bloated bond-holders,' and, most foolish 
of all, ' the conflict between Capital and Labor.' 
You have not thought this matter out for your- 
selves at all. That is why I ask 3-ou to join 
hands for a little while with the Order of 
Thinkers and see if there is not some good 
way out of this dilemma. McGinnis said that 
the Company has no right to charge you for 
keeping your tools sharp. In one sense this is 
true. You have a perfect right to work with 
dull tools, if you wish to ; you have the right to 
sharpen your own tools ; and you also have the 
right to hire any one else to do it for you. You 
work ' by the ton,' you own your pickaxes and 
shovels from handle to blade, and you have the 
right to do with them as you please. 

« There are three hundred of you who use tools ; 
you each pay ten cents a week to the Company 
for keeping them sharp, — that is, in round num- 
bers, $1500 a year. There are two smiths at work 
at $50 a month (that is $1200), and a helper at 
$25 a month ($300 more), making just $1500 paid 
by the Company in wages. If you will think 
this matter out, you will see that there is a dead 



STRIKE AT GOBDON'8 MINE 



24t 



loss to the Company of the coal used, the wear 
and tear of the instruments, and the interest, 
taxes, insurance, and degeneration of the plant. 
Is the Company under obligation to lose this 
money for you ? Not at all ! The Company 
does this as an accommodation and a gratuity 
to you, but not as a duty. Just as much coal 
would be taken from the Gordon mine if your 
tools were never sharpened, only it would require 
more men, and you would earn less money apiece. 
You could not get this sharpening done at pri- 
vate shops so cheaply, and you cannot do it 
yourselves. You have no more right to ask the 
Company to do this work for nothing than you 
have to ask it to buy your tools for you. It 
would be jusc as sensible for you to strike be- 
cause the Company did not send each of you ten 
cents' worth of ice-cream every Sunday morning, 
as it is for you to go out on 'this matter of sharp- 
ening tools. 

"But, suppose the Company were in duty 
bound to do this thing for you, and suppose it 
should refuse ; woi I that be a good reason for 
quitting work ? Not by any means ! You are 
earning an average of i2 a day, — nearly #16,000 
a month. You've 'been out' six weeks. If you 
gain your point, it will take you fifteen years to 
make up what you've already lost. If you have 
the sense which God gives geese, you will see 
that you can't afford this sort of thing. 

"But the end is not yet. You are likely to 



242 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



;li 



stay out six weeks longer, and each six weeks 
adds another fifteen years to your struggle to 
catch up with your losses. Is this a load which 
thinking people would impose upon themselves ? 
Not much 1 You will lose your battle, for your 
strike is badly timed. It seems to be the fate 
of strikes to be badly timed ; they usually occur 
when, on account of hard times or over-supply, 
the employers would rather stop paying wages 
than not. That's the case now. Four months 
of coal is in yards or on cars, and it's an absolute 
benefit to the Company to turn seventy or eighty 
thousand dollars of dead product into live money. 
Don't deceive yourselves with the hope that 
you are distressing the owner by your foolish 
strike ; you are putting money into his pockets 
while your families suffer for food. There is no 
great principle at stake to make your conduct 
seem noble and to call forth sympathy for your 
suffering, — only foolishness and the blind follow- 
ing of a demagogue whose living depends upon 
your folly. 

"McGinnls talked to you about the conflict 
between capital and labor. That is all rot. 
There is not and there cannot be such a conflict. 
Labor makes capital, and without capital there 
would be no object in labor. They are mutually 
dependent upon each other, and there can be no 
quarrel between them, for neither could exist 
after the death of the other. The capitalist is 
only a laborer who has saved a part of his wages, 



STRIKE AT GORDON'S MINE 



243 



— either in his generation or in some preceding 
one. Any man witli a sound mind and a. sound 
body can become a capitalist. Wlieu tlie laborer 
has saved one dollar he is a capitalist, — he has 
money to lend at interest or to invest in some- 
thing that will bring a return. The second 
dollar is easier saved than the first, and every 
dollar saved is earning something on its own ac- 
count. All persons who have money to invest or 
to lend are capitalists. Of course, some are great 
and some are small, but all are independent, for 
they have more than they need for immediate 
personal use. 

" I am going to tell you how you may all 
become capitalists ; but first I want to point out 
your real enemies. The employer is not your 
enemy, capital is not your enemy, but the saloon- 
keeper is, — and the most deadly (^nemy you can 
possibly have. In that fringe ol shanties over 
yonder live the powers that keep you down ; 
there are the foes that degrade you and your 
families, forcing you to live little better than 
wild beasts. Your food is poor, your clothing 
is in rags, your children are without shoes, your 
homes are desolate, there aro no schools and no 
social life. Year follows yi in dreary mono- 
tone, and you finally die, and your neighbors 
thrust you underground and have an end of you. 
Misery and wretchedness fill the measure of your 
days, and you are forgotten. 

" This dull, brutish condition is self-imposed, 



3U 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



i 



and to what end ? That some dozen harpies 
may fatten on your flesh ; that your labor may 
give them leisure ; that your suffering may give 
them pleasure; that your sweat may cool their 
brows, and your money fill their tills ! 

" What do you get in return ? Whiskey, to 
poison your bodies and pervert your minds ; 
whiskey, to make you fierce beasts or dull 
brutes ; whiskey, to make your eyes red and 
your hands unsteady ; whiskey, to make your 
homes sties and yourselves fit occupants for 
them ; whiskey, to make you beat your wives 
and children ; whiskey, to cast you into the 
gutter, the most loathsome animal in all the 
world. This is cheap whiskey, but it costs you 
dear. All that makes life worth living, all that 
raises man above the brute, and all the hope of 
a future life, are freely given for this poor 
whiskey. The man who sells it to you robs 
you of your money and also of your manhood. 
You pay him ten times (often twenty times) as 
much as it cost him, and yet he poses as your 
friend. 

" I'm not going to say anything against beer, 
for I don't think good beer is very likely to 
hurt a man. I will say this, however, — you 
pay mon an twice what it is worth. This is 
the point x vould make : beer is a food of some 
value, and it should be put on a food basis in 
price. It isn't more than half as valuable as 
milk, and it shouldn't cost more than half as 



STRIKE AT GORDON'S MINE 24C 

much. You can have good beer at three or 

four cents a quart, if you will let whiskey alone 

"I promised to tell you how to become capil 

talists, each and every one of you, and I'll keep 

""^r, ,'^^'°^'" ""'"" ^ «»« ^ 'i"le longer." 
While Jack had been speaking, some of the 
men had shown considerable interest and had 
gradually crowded their way nearer to the boy 
Thirty or forty Cornishmen and perhaps as many 
others of the better sort were close to the car 
and seemed anxious to hear what he had to say! 
Back of these, however, were the large majority 
of the miners and the hangers-on at the saloons, 
who did not wish to hear, and did not mean that 
othe« should hear, what the boy had to say 
Led by McGinnis and the saloon-keepers, they 
had kept up such a row that it had been im- 
possible for any one, except those quite near the 
car, to hear at all. Now they determined to 
stop the talk and to bounce the boy They 
made a vigorous rush for the car with shouts 
and uplifted hands. 

A gigantic Comishman mounted the car, and 
said, in a voice that could easily be heard above 
the shouting of the crowd : _ 

« Wait — wait a bit, men ! The lad is a brave 
one, and ye maun own to that ! There be small 
urt in words, and mebbe 'e 'ave tole a bit truth 
Ale and me mates 'ere are minded to give un a 
chance. If ye men don't want to 'ear 'im, you 
don't 'ave to stay; but don't 'e dare touchen with 



T I 



2M 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



a finger, or, by God ! Tom Carkeek will kick the 
Btuffin' out en 'e ! " 

This was enough to prevent any overt act, 
for Tom Carkeek was the champion wrestler in 
all that county ; he was fiercer than fire when 
roused, and he would be backed by every Cor- 
nishman on the job. 

Jack went on with his talk. "The 'Order 
of Thinkers ' claim that you men and all of your 
class spend one-third of your entire wages for 
whiskey and beer. There are exceptions, but 
the figures will hold good. I am going to call 
the amount of your wages spent in this way, one- 
fourth. The yearly pay-roll of this mine is, in 
round numbers, 1200,000. Fifty thousand of this 
goes into the hands of those harpies, who grow 
rich as you grow poor. You are surprised at 
these figures, and yet they are too small. I 
counted the saloons over there, and I find there 
are eleven of them. Divide $50,000 into eleven 
parts, and you would give each saloon less than 
$5000 a year as a gross business. Not one of 
those places can run on the legitimate percen- 
tage of a business which does not amount to 
more than that. Do you suppose these men are 
here from charitable motives or for their health ? 
Not at all. They are here to make money, and 
they do it. Five or six hundred dollars is aU 
they pay for the vile stuff for which they charge 
you $5000. They rob you of manhood and money 
alik& 



STRIKE AT aOKDON'S MINE 247 

"Now, what would be the result if you struck 
on these robbers? I will tell you. In the first 
place, you would save 150,000 each year, and you 
would be oetter men in every wav for so doing 
You would earn more money, and your children 
would wear shoes and go to school. That would 
be much, and well worth while; but that is not 
the best of it. I will make a proposition to 
you, and I will promise that it shall be carried 
out on my side exactly as I state it. 

"This is a noble property. In ten years it 
has paid its owner «500,000, — $50,000 a year 
It is sure to go on in this way under good man- 
agement. I offer, in the name of the owner, to 
bond this property to you for $300,000 for five 
years at six per cent. Of course this is an un- 
usual opportunity. The owner has grown rich 
out of it, and he is now willing to retire and give 
others a chance. His offer to you is to soil the 
mine for half its value, and, at the same time, to 
give you five years in which to pay for it. I 
will add something to this proposition, for I feel 
certain that he will agree to it. It is this : Mr. 
Gordon will build and equip a small brewery on 
this property, in which good, wholesome beer 
can be mac! for you at one cent a glass. You 
are to pay for the brewery in the same way that 
you pay for the other property; it will cost 
$25,000. This will makp 1825,000 which you are 
to pay during the next five years. How ? Let 
me tell you. 



sa 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



i-i 



"The property will give you a net income of 
140,000 or »60,000, and ycii will save tSO.OOO more 
when you give up whiskey and get your beer for 
less than one-fourth of what it now costs you. 
The general store at which you have always 
traded will be run in your interests, and all that 
you buy will be cheaper. The marliet will be a 
cooperative one, which will furnish you meat, 
fattened on your own land, at the lowest price. 
Your fruit and vegetables will come from these 
broad acres, which will be yours and will cost 
you but little. You will earn more money be- 
cause you will be sober and industrious, and your 
money will purchase more because you will deal 
without a middleman. You will be better clothed, 
better fed, and better men. Your wives will 
take new interest in life, and there will be car- 
pets on your floors, curtains at your windows, 
vegetables behind your cottages, and flowers in 
front of them. 

"All these things you will have with the 
money you are now earning, and at the same 
time you will be changing from the laborer to 
the capitalist. The mine gives you a profit of 
$40,000, and you save one-fourth of your wages, 
which makes 150,000 more, — 190,000 in all. \\ hat 
are you to do with this ? Less than $20,000 will 
cover the interest. You will have $70,000 to pay 
on the principal. This will reduce the interest 
for the next year more than $3000. Each year 
you can do as well, and by the time the five 



STRIKE AT GORDON'S MINE 240 

yfiars have passed you will own the mine, the 
•end, the brewery, the store, the market, and this 
bussed blacksmith shop about which you have 
had so much fuss, and also a bank with a paid-up 
capital of *50,000. You are capitalists, every one 
of you, at the end of five years, if you wish to 
ho, and if you are willing to giv.- up the single 
item, — whiskey. 

"Do you like the plan? Do you like the 
pi 03).e(!t ? Turn it over and see what objections 
you can find. If you are willing to go into it, 
come over to Four Oaks some day and we will 
Ro more into details. McGinnis gave you one 
side of the picture : I have given you the other. 
You are at liberty r (ullow whichever you 
plea.*." 

Ja-ik and Jarvi' ;uiiipri) ..(? the car and struck 
out for home, i : ik... k .,; ■! iis Cornishmen fol- 
lowed the lads i!..U; *!-. .., ■. well clear of the 
villapc,toprote 1 Hi>;in,. .1 I ^ . :, Carkeek said: — 
"Mrt and the otl.<>v Iik. :ot <.o hear 'e talk, 
mister, and we like for ;o car 'e talk more." 

« All right, Goliath," said Jack. « Come over 
any time and we'll make plans." 



[f^ 



CHAPTER XLII 



THE BIOT 



Two days later the boys, returning from the 
city, were met by Jane and Jessie in the big 
carriage to be driven home. Halfway to Four 
Oaks the carriage suddenly halted, and a con- 
fused murmur of angry voices gave warning of 
trouble. Jack opened the door and stood upon 
the step. 

« Fifteen or twenty drunken miners block the 
way, — they are holding the horses," said he. 

" Let me out ; I'll soon clear the road," said 
Jarvis, trying to force his way past Jack. 

" Sit still, Hercules ; I am slower to wrath 
than you are. Let me talk to them," and Jack 
took three or four steps forward, followed closely 
by Jarvis. 

"Well, men, what do you want? There is 
no good in stopping a carriage on the highroad." 

" We want work and money and bread," said 
a great bearded Hun who was nearest to Jack. 

« This is no way to get either. We have no 

work to offer, there is no bread in the carriage, 

and not much money. You are dead wrong in 

this business, and you are likely to get into 

wo 



THE EIOT 



351 



trouble. I can make some allowance when I 
remember the bad whiskey that is in you, but 
you must get out of our way ; the road is pub- 
lic and we have the right to use it." 

« Not until you have paid toll," said the Hun. 
« That's tlie rooster who said we drank whis- 
key and didn't work. He's the fellow who 
would rob a poor man of his liberty," came a 
voice in the crowd. 

" Knock his block off I " 
« Break his back ! " 

" Let me at him," and a score of other friendly 
offers came from the drunken crowd. 

Jack stood steadily looking at the ruffians, his 
blue eyes growing black with excitement and his 
hands clenched tightly in the pockets of his reefer. 
"Slowly, men, slowly," said he. «H you 
want me, you may have me. There are ladies 
in the carriage ; let them go on ; I'll stay with 
you as long as you like. You are brave men, 
and you have no quarrel with ladies." 

« Ladies, eh ! " said the Hun, « ladies ! I never 
saw anything but women. Let's have a look at 
them, boys." 

This speech was drunkenly approved, and the 
men pressed forward. Jack stood firm, his face 
was white, but his eyes flamed. 

"Stand off! There are good men who will 
die for those ladies, and it will go hard but bad 
men shall die first." 

The Hun disregarded the warning. 



983 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



Jl 



" I'll have a look into " 

"Hell!" said the slow-of-wratii Jack, and his 
fist went straight from the shoulder and smote 
the Hun on the point of the jaw. It was a 
terrible blow, dealt with all the force of a 
trained athlete, and inspired by every impulse 
which a man holds dear ; and tlie half-drunken 
brute fell like a stricken ox. Catching the club 
from the falling man. Jack made a sudden lunge 
forward at the face of the nearest foe. 

"Now, Jim!" he shouted, as the full fever 
of battle seized him. His forward lunge had 
placed another miner hors de flombat, and Jarvis 
sprang forward and secured the wounded man's 
bludgeon. 

"Back to back, Jack, and mind your guard !" 
The odds were eighteen to two against the 
young men, but they did not heed them. Back 
to back they stood, and the heavy clubs were 
like feathers in their strong hands. Their skill 
at "single stick " was of immense advantage, for 
it built a wall of defence around them. The 
crazy-drunk miners rushed upon them with the 
fierceness of wild beasts; they crowded in so 
close as to interfere with their own freedom of 
movement; they sought to overpower the two 
men by weight of numbers and by showers of 
blows. Jack and Jim were kept busy guarding 
their own heads, and it was only occasionally 
that they could give an aggressive blow. When 
these opportunities came, they were accepted 



I iiwiiiuaii iMiiMii I Ml Mi^vwm am 



THE EIOT 



a miner fell with 



with iieree delight, and 
broken head at every blow 

of Jack and three went down u;d;;;:;;i;; X" 

Tae battle hud now lasted several minutes, and 
the stram on the young men was telling on • ;.eir 
wmd; they struck as hard and parried as well 
as at first, hut they were breathing rapidly. The 
young ,heered each other with joyous words; 

they felt no need of aid. 

"Beats football hollow!" panted Jarvis 
"bo ..,,, old man! you're a dandy full-back 1" 
came between strokes from Jack 

whaf the 'T '^"\ ''°'' '"' * '""'""^^ -"d see 
what the g,rls are domg. When Jarvis got out 
of the carnage, he said :_ 

" Lar,, if there is trouble here, you drive on as 
•ooo as you can get your horses clear. Never 
mmd us; we'll walk home. Get the ladies to 
i:'our Oaks as soon as possible" 

When the battle began, the miners left the 
Ws to attack the men. This gave a clear 
road, and Lars was ready to drive on, but the 
g.r Is were „ot ,„ the carriage. They had sprung 
out m the excitement of the first sound of blows! 
and now stood watching with glowing eyes and 
wh.te faces the prowess of their champions. For 
mmutes they watched the conflict with fear and 
pr.de combmed. When seven or eight minutes 
had passeo and the champions had not slain all 
their enemies, some degree of terror arose in the 
mmds of the young ladies, _ terror lest their 



264 



THE PAT OF THE LAND 



ii 



knights be overpowered by numbers or become 
exhausted by slaying, — and they loolced about 
for aid. Lars, remembering what Jarvis had 
said, urged the ladies to get into the carriage 
and be driven out of danger. They repelled his 
advice with scorn. Jane said : 

"I won't stir a step until the men can go 
with us 1 " 

Jessie said never a word, but she darted for- 
ward toward the fighting men, stooped, picked 
up a fallen club, and was back in an Instant. 
Mounting quickly to the box, she said : 

« I can hold the horses. Don't you think you 
can help the men, Lars ? " 

"I'd like to try, miss," and the coachman's 
coat was off in a trice and the club in his hand. 
He was none too soon ! 

Jane, who had mounted the box with Jessie, 
cried, « Look out, Jack ! " just as a heavy stone 
crashed against the back of his head. Some brute 
in the crowd had sent it with all his force. The 
stone broke through the Derby hat and opened a 
wide gash in Jack's scalp, and sent him to the 
ground with a thousand stars glittering before 
his eyes. Jane gave a sob and covered her eyes. 
Jessie swayed as though she would fall, but she 
never took her eyes from the fallen man ; her lips 
moved, but she said nothing ; and her face was 
ghastly white. Jarvis heard the dull thud 
against Jack's head and knew that he was fall- 
ing. Whirling swiftly, he stopped a savage 



THE EIOT 2W 

blow that was aimed at the stricken man, and 
with a back-handed cut laid the striker low 
.ol"^" 1f^\^^f' ^^P <^o^n till the Stan, are 
sTde of "\«*°°^-*'h -« sturdy leg on each 

charmed circle about him. It was not more 
than twenty seconds before the wheels were out 
of Jacks head and he was on his feet again 
though not quite steady. 

Jack's fall had given courage to the gang, and 
they made a furious attack upon Jarvis, who was 
now alone and not a little impeded by the friend 
at his feet As Jack struggled to his legs, a furi- 
ous blow directed at him was parried by Jarvis's 
left arm, -his right being busy guarding his 
own head. The blow was a fearful one; it 
broke the small bone in the forearm, beat down 
the guard, and came with terrible force upon 
poor Jack's left shoulder, disabling it for a 
minute At the same time Jarvis received a 
nasty blow across the face from an unexpected 
quarter. He was staggered by it, but he did not 
fall. Jack's right arm was good and very anerv • 
a savage jab with his rlub Into the face of the' 
man who had struck Jarvis laid him low, and 
Jack grinned with satisfaction. 

Things were going hard wi(h (he young men. 
1 hey had, mdeed, disqualified nine of the enemv • 
out there were still eight or ten more, and through 
hard work and harder knocks they had lost 
more than half their own fighting strength. At 



in 



7mmm^m!^m!^.. 



266 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



this rate they would be used up completely 
while there were still three or four of the enemy 
on foot. This was when they needed aid, and 
aid came. 

No sooner had Lars found himself at liberty 
and with a club in his hands than be began to 
use it with telling effect. He attacked the outer 
circle, striking every head he could reach, and 
such was his sprightliness that four men fell 
headlong before the others became awsrp of 
this attack from the rear. This diversion came 
at the right moment, and proved effective. There 
were now but six of the enemy in fighting condi- 
tion, and these six were more demoralized by the 
sudden and unknown element of a rear attack 
than by the loss of their thirteen comrades. They 
hesitated, and half turned to look, and two of 
them fell under the blows of Jack and Jarvis. 
As the rest turned to escape, the Swede's club 
felled one, and the other three ran for dear life. 
They did not escape, however, for the long legs 
of the young men were after them. Young 
blood is hot, and the savage fight that had been 
forced upon these boys had aroused all that was 
savage in them. In an instant they overtook 
two of the fleeing men, but neither could strike 
an enemy in the back. Throwing aside their 
clubs, each seized his enemy by the shoulder, 
turned him face to face and smote him sore, 
each after his fashion. Then they laughed, took 
hold of hands, and walked wearily back to the 



THE RIOT 



267 



carriage. Jarvis's face was covered with blood, 

and Jack's neck and shoulders were drenched, 

his wound had bled freely. Lars had relieved 
the ladies on the box after administering kicks 
and blows in generous me -e to the dazed and 
crippled miners, who were oi-awling off the road 
or staggering along it. The Swede had a strain 
of fierce North blood which was not easily laid 
when once aroused, and he glared around the 
battle-field, hoping to find signs of resistance. 
When none were to be seen, he donned his 
coachman's coat and sat the box like a sphinx. 

The girls went quickly forward to meet the 
men. They said little, but they put their hands 
on their battered champions in a way to make 
the heart of man glad. Tl»e men were flushed 
and proud, as men have been, and men will be, 
through all time, when they have striven sav- 
agely against other savages in tlie sight of their 
mistresses, and have gained the victory. Their 
bruises were numb with exultation and their 
wounds dumb with pride. There was no regret 
for blows given or received, — no sympathy for 
fallen foe. The male fights, in the presence of 
the female, with savage delight, from the lowest 
to the highest ranks of creation, and we must 
forgive our boys for some cruel exultation as they 
looked on the field of strife. Better feelings will 
come when the blood flows less rapidly in their 
veins ! 

« We must hurry home," said Jane, " aad let 



f 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



i'-l' 




'i 



i . W 



papa mend you." Then she burst into tears. 
" Ob, I am so sorry and so frightened 1 Do you 
feel vert/ bad, Jaclc 7 I know you are suffering 
dreadfully, Mr. Jarvis. Can't I do something for 
you?" 

« My arm is bruised a bit," said Jarvis ; « if 
you don't mind, you can steady it a little." 

Jane's soft hands clasped themselves tenderly 
over Jarvis's great fist, and she felt relieved in 
the thought that she was doing something for 
her hero. She held the great right hand of Her- 
cules tenderly, and Jarvis never let her know 
that it was the left arm that had been broken. 
She felt certain that he must be suffering agony, 
for ever and anon his fingers would close over 
hers with a spasmodic grip that sent a thrill of 
mixed joy and pain to her heart 

While I was bandaging the broken arm I saw 
the young lady going through some pantomimic 
exercises with her hands, as it seeking to revive 
the memory of some previous position ; then her 
face blazed with a light, half pleasure and half 
shame, and she disappeared. 

When the carriage arrived at Four Oaks, the 
story was told in few words, and I immediately 
set to work to " mend " the boys. Jack insisted 
that Jarvis should receive the first attention, and, 
indeed, he looked the worse. But after washing 
the blood oft his face, I found that beyond a 
severe bruise, which would disfigure him for a 
few days, his face and head were unhurt. HiS 



THE ElOT 



269 



ann waa broken and badly contused. After I 
had attended to it, he said : 

" Doctor, I'm as good as new ; hope Jack is no 
worse." 

I carefully washed the blood off Jack's head 
and neck, and found an ugly scalp wound at least 
three inches long. It made me terribly anxious 
until I fairly proved that the bone was uninjured. 
After giving the boy the tonsure, I put six stitches 
into the scalp, and he never said a word. Per- 
haps the cause of this fortitude could be found 
in the blazing eyes of Jessie Gordon, which fixed 
his as a magnet, while her hands clasped his 
tightly. Miss Jessie was as white as snow, but 
there was no tremor in hand or eye. When it 
was all over, her voice was steady and low as 
she said : — 

"Jack Williams, in the olden days men fought 
for women, and they were callet^ knighte. It 
was counted a noble thing to take peril in de- 
fence of the helpless. I '.ind no record of more 
knightly deed than you have done f u uay, :. i.d I 
know that no knight could have dorift it more 
nobly. I want you to wear this favor >;• your 
hand." 

She kissed his hand and left the roo.ii, Ja. : 
didn't seem to mind the wound in his huad, !)ur. 
be gkve great attention to his hand. 



CHAPTER XLIII 



THE BB8CLT 



li' 



¥ 






As soon as the first report of the battle reached 
me, I telephoned to Bill Jackson, aslcing him to 
come at once to Four Oaks and to bring a man 
with him. When he arrived, attended by his 
big Irishman, my men had already put one of the 
farm teams to a great farm wagon, and had filled 
the >)ox nearly full of hay. We gave Jackson a 
hurried account of tlie fight and asked him to go 
at once and offer relief to tlie wounded, — if such 
relief were needed. Jackson was willing enough 
to go, but he was greatly disappointed that he 
had missed the fight ; it seemed unnatural that 
there should be a big fight in his neighborhood 
and he not in it. 

« I'd give a ten-acre lot to have been with you, 
lads," said the big farmer as he started off. 

Word had been sent to Dr. Higli to be ready 
to care for some broken heads. Two houre later 
I drove to the Inn at Exeter and found the doc- 
tor just commencing the work of repair. Thir- 
teen men had been brought in by the wagon, 
twelve of them more or less cut and bruised 
about the head, and all needing some surgical 

260 



THE RESULT 



261 



attention. The thirteenth mnn was stone dead 
A terriBo blow on the back of the head had 
crushed h.8 skull as if it had been an egg-shell 
and he must have died instantly. After lookinJ 
this poor fellow over to make sure that there was 
no hope for him, we turned our attontiou to the 
wounded. The barn had been turned Into a 
hospital, and in two hours we had a dozen son- 
heads well cared for, and their owners ron- 
fortably placed for the night on soft hay covered 
by blankets from the Inn. Mrs. French brought 
tea and gruels for the thirsty, feverish fellows 
and we placed Otto and the big Irishman on' 
duty as nurses for the night. The coroner l.ul 
been summoned, and arrived as we finished our 
work. He was an energetic official, and lost no 
time in getting a jury of .six to listen to the 
statements which the wounded men wouhl give 
lo their credit be it said that every one who gave 
testimony at all, gave it to the effect that the 
miners were crazy-drunk, that they stopped the 
carriage, provoked the fight, and did their utmost 
to dwable or destroy the enemy. The coroner 
would listen to no further testimony, but gave 
the case to the jury. In five minutes their ver- 
dict was returned, "justifiable and commendable 
homicide by person unknown to the jury." 

The news of a fight and the death of a miner 
had reached Gordonville, where it created intense 
excitement. By the time the inquest was over 
a crowd of at least fifty minere had collected 



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262 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



near the barn. Much grumbling and some loud 
threats were heard. Jackson took it upon him- 
self to meet these angry men, and no one could 
have done better. Stepping upon a box which 
raised him a foot or two above the crowd, he 
said: — 

" See here, fellows, I v/ant to say a word to 
you. My name's Jackson — Bill Jackson ; per- 
haps some of you know me. If you don't, I'll 
introduce myself. I wasn't in this fight, — worse 
luck for me ! but I am wide open for engagements 
in that line. Some one inside said that this 
gang must be conciliated, and I thought I would 
come out and do it. I understand that you feel 
sore over this affair, — it's natural that you 
should, — but you must remember that those 
boys out at Four Oaks couldn't accommodate all 
of you. If you wouldn't mind taking me for a 
substitute, I'll do my level best to make it lively 
for you. You don't need cards of introduction 
to me ; you needn't be American citizens ; you 
needn't speak English ; all you have to do is to 
put up your hands or cock your hats, and I'll 
know what you mean. If any of you thinks he 
hasn't had his share of what's been going on this 
afternoon, he may just call on Bill Jackson for 
the balance. I want to conciliate you if I can ! 
I'm a good-tempered man, and not the kind to 
pick a quarrel ; but if any of you low-lived dogs 
are looking for a fight, I'm not the man to dis- 
appoint you I I came out here to satisfy you in 



THE RESULT jjqs 

this matter and to send you home contented, and 
by the jumping Jews ! I'll do it if I have to break 
the head of every dog's son among you ! They 
told me to speak gently to you, and by thunder, 
I ve done it ; but now I'm going to say a word 
for myself I 

"A lot of your dirty crowd attacked two of 
the decentest men in the county when they were 
riding with ladies; one of th„ gang got killed 
and the rest got their skulls cracked. Would 
these boys fight for the girls they had with 
them ? Hell's blazes! I'll fight for just thinking 
ot It 1 Just one of you duffers say ' boo ' to me ! 
I'm going right through you ! " 

Jackson sprang into the crowd, which parted 
like water before a strong swimmer. He cocked 
his hat, smacked his fists, and invited any or all 
to stand up to him He was crazy for a fight 
to get even with Jack and Jarvis; but no one 
was willing to favor him. He marched through 
the gang lengthways, crossways, and diagonally 
but to no purpose. In great disgust he returned 
to the barn and reported that the crowd would 
not be "conciliated." When we left, however 
there were no miners to be seen. 

It was after one o'clock in the morning when 
I reached home. Going directly to the room oc- 
cupied by the boys, I met Polly on the stairs 

« I'm glad you've come," said she, « for I can't 
do a thing with those boys; they are too wild 
for any use." 



264 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 






Entering the room, I found the lads in bed, 
but hilarious. They had sent for Lars and had 
filled him full of hot stuff and commendation. 
He was sitting on the edge of a chair between 
the two beds, his honest eyes bulging and his 
head rolling from the effects of unusual pota- 
tions. The lads had tasted the cup, too, but 
lightly ; their high spirits came from other 
sources. Victories in war and in love deserve 
celebration ; and when the two are united, a bit 
of freedom must be permitted. They sat bolt 
upright against the heads of their beds with 
flushed 'jces and shining eyes. They shouted 
Greek and Latin verse at the bewildered Swede ; 
they gave him the story of Lars Porsena in the 
original, and then in bad Swedish. They called 
him Lars Porsena, — for had he not fought gal- 
lantly ? Then he was Gustavus A iolphus, — for 
had he not come to the aid of the Protestants 
when they were in sore need ? And then things 
got mixed and the " Royal Swede " was Lars 
Adolphus or Gustavus Porsena Viking all in one. 
The honest fellow was more than half craz,ed by 
strong waters, incomprehensible words, and " jol- 
lying up" which the young chaps had given him. 

" See here, boys, don't you see that you're 
sending your noble Swede to his Lutzen before 
his time, — not dead, indeed, but dead drunk ? 
This isn't the sort of medicine for either of you ; 
you should have been asleep three hours ago. 
I'll take your last victim home." 



THE RESULT 



ses 



We heard no more from any of the fighters 
until nine in the morning. In looking them over 
I found that the Swede had as sore a head as 
either of the others, though he had never taken 
a blow. 

Many friends came to see the boys during the 
days of their seclusion, to congratulate them on 
their forUinate escape, and to compliment them 
on their skill and courage. The lads enjoyed 
being made much of, and their convalescence was 
short and cheerful. Of course Sir Tom was the 
most constant and most enthusiastic visitor. 
The warm-hearted Irishman loved the boys al- 
ways, but now he seemed to venerate them. 
The successful club fight appealed to his national 
instincts as nothing else could have done. 

" With twenty years off and a shillalah in me 
hand I would have been proud to stand with you. 
By the Lord, I'm asking too much ! I'll yield 
the twenty years and only ask for the stick 1 " 
And his cane went whirling around his head, 
now guarding, now striking, and now with elabo- 
rate flourishes, after the most approved Donny- 
brook fashion. 

" But, me friend Jarvis, what is this you have 
on your face ? Pond's Extract ! Oh, murder ! 
What is the world coming to when fresh beef 
and usquebaugh are crowded to the wall by bad- 
smelling water! Look at me nose; it is as 
straight as God made it, and yet many a time 
It has been knocked to one side of me face 



266 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



or spread al over me features. Nothing but 
whiskey and raw beef could ever coax it back ! 
It's God's mercy if you are not deformed for 
life, me friend. Such privileges are not to be 
neglected with impunity. Let me bathe your 
face with ■vhiskey and put a beef-steak poultice 
after it, and I'll have you as handsome as a girl 
in three days." 

"Give me the steak and whiskey inside and 
I'll feel handsome at once," said Jarvis. 

« Oh, the rashness of youth ! " said Sir Tom. 
« But I'll not say a word against it. Youth is the 
greatest luck in the world, and I'll not copper it." 

And then our sporting friend grew reminiscent 
and told of a time at Limmer's when the marquis 
and he occupied beds in the same room, not un- 
like our boys' room — only smoky and dingy — 
and poulticed their battered faces with beef, and 
used usquebaugh inside and outside, after ten 
friendly rounds. 

" Queensbary's nose never resumed entirely 
after that night, but mine came back like rubber. 
Maybe it, was the beef — maybe it was usque- 
baugh ; me own preference is in favor of the 
latter." 

Sir Tom came every day so long as the boys 
were confined to the place, and each day he was 
able to develop some new incident connected 
with the battle which called for applause. After 
hearing Lars tell his story for the fourth time, 
he gave him a ten-dollar note, saying : — 



THE RESULT 



2ST 



"Yon did nobly for a Swede, Mr. Gustavus 
Adolphus, but I would give ten tenners to have 
had your place and your shillalah, — a Swede for 
a match-lock, but an Irishman for a stick." 

Jack had hardly recovered when he was waited 
on by a committee from the mine with a request 
that he would make another speech. He was 
asked to make good his offer of bonding the 
property, and also to formulate a plan of co- 
operation for the guidance of the men. Jack 
had the plans for a cooperative mining village 
well digested, and was anxious to get them be- 
fore the miners. As soon as he was fit he went 
to Gordonville to try to organize the work. 
Jarvis of course went with him, and Bill Jack- 
son and Sir Tom would not be denied; they 
did not say so, but they looked as if they thought 
some diversion might be found. In spite of the 
mfluence of strong whiskey, however, the meet- 
ing passed off peacefully. The results that grew 
from this effort at reformation were so great and 
so far-reaching that they deserve a book for their 
narration. 



CHAPTER XLIV 



-J 'ft 



III 






DEEP WATERS 

For sharp contrasts give me the dull country. 
The unexpected is the usual in small and in 
great things alike as they happen on a farm, and 
I make no apology to the reader for entering 
them in my narrative. I only ask him, if he be 
a city man, to take my word for the truth as 
to the general facts. To some elaboration and 
embellishment I plead guilty, but the ground- 
work is truth, and the facts stated are as real 
as the foundations of my buildings or the cows 
in my stalls. If the fortunate reader be a coun- 
try man, he will need no assurance from me, for 
his eyes have seen and his ears have heard the 
strange and startling episodes with which the 
quiet country-side is filled. I do not dare record 
all the adventures which clustered around us at 
Four Oaks. People who know only the monoto- 
nous life of cities would not believe the half if 
told, and I do not wish to invite discredit upon 
my story of the making of the factory farm. 

The incidents I have given of the strike at 
Gordon's mine are substantially correct, and I 
would love to follow them to their sequel, — the 
8M 



DEEP WATERS 



n» 



cooperative mine ; but as tiiat is a story by itself 
I cannot do it now. I promise myself, however! 
the pleasure of writing a history of this inno- 
vation in coal-mining at an early date. It is 
worth the world's knowing that a copartnership 
can exist between three hundred equal partner 
without serious friction, and that community in 
business interests on a large .scale can be success- 
fally managed without any effort to control per- 
sonal liberty, either domestic, social, or religious. 
Indeed, I believe the success of this experiment 
IS due largely to the absence of any attempt to 
superintend the private interests of its members, 
— the only bond being a common financial one' 
and the one requisite to membership, ability to 
save a portion of the wages earned. 

But to go back to farm matters. In August 
the ground was stirred for the second time 
around the young trees. To do this, the mulch 
was turned back and the surface for a space of 
three feet all around the tree was loosened by 
hoe or mattock, and the mulch was then re- 
turned. The trees were vigorous, and their 
leaves had the polish of healtii, in spite of the 
dry July and August. The mulching must re- 
ceive the credit for much of this thrift, for it 
protected the soil from the rays of the sun and 
invited the deep moisture to rise toward the sur- 
face. Few people realize the amount of water 
that enters into the daily consumption of a tree 
It is said that the four acres of leaf surface of 



270 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



I 



/'; r. 



a large elm will transpire or yield to evaporation 
eight tons of water in a day, and that it takes 
more than five hundred tons of water to produce 
one ton of hay, M'heat, oats, or other crop. This 
seems enormous ; but an inch of rain on an acre 
of g-ound means more than a hundred tons of 
water, and precipitation in our part of the coun- 
try is about thirty-six inches per finnum, so that 
we can count on over thirty-six hundred tons of 
water per acre to supply this tremendous evapo- 
ration of plant life. 

Water-pot and hose look foolish in the face of 
these figures; indeed, they are poor makeshifts 
to keep life in plants during pinching times. A 
much more effective method is to keep the soil 
loose under a heavy mulch, for then the deep 
waters will rise. In our climate the tree's growth 
for the year is practically completed by July 15, 
and fo; tunately dry times rarely occur so early. 
We are, therefore, pretty certain to get the wood 
growth, no matter how dry the year, since it 
would take several years of unusual drought to 
prevent it. Of course the wood is not all that 
we wish for in fruit trees ; the fruit is the main 
thing, and to secure the best development of it 
an abundant rainfall is needed after the wood is 
grown. If the rain doesn't come in July and 
August, heavy mulching must be the fruit-grow- 
er's reliance, and a good one it will prove if the 
drought doesn't continue more than one year. 
After July the new wood hardens and gets ready 



DEEP WATERS 



cri 



for the trying winter. If July and August are 
very wet, growth may continue until too late for 
the wood to harden, and it consequently goes into 
winter poorly prepared to resist its rigors. T'\n 
result is a killing back of the soft wood, but 
usually no seri us loss to the trees. The i ffort 
to stimulate late summer ^ rowth by cultivation 
and fertilization is all wrong; use manures and 
fertilizers freely from March until early Juno, but 
not later. The fall mulch of manure, if used, is 
more for warmth than for fertility; it is a 
blanket for the roots, but much of its value is 
leached away by the suns and rains of winter. 

I felt that I had made a misu'ke in not sow- 
ing a cover croj) in my orchard the previous 
year. There are many excellent reasons for the 
cover crop and not one against it. The first 
reason is that it protects the land from the rough 
usage and wash of winter storms; the second, 
that it adds humus to the soil ; ^--d the third, if 
one of the legumes is used, that it collects nitro- 
gen from the air, stores it in each knuckle and 
joint, and holds it there until it is liberated by 
the decay of the plant. As nitrogen is the most 
precious of plant foods, and as the nitrate beds 
and deposits are rapidly becoming exhausted, we 
must look to the useful legumes to help us out 
until the scientists shall be able to fix th un- 
limited but volatile supply which the atmos- 
phere contains, and thus tr remove the certain, 
though remote, danger of a i, . ^ rogen famine. That 



373 



THE FA'l OP THE LAND 



if 






this will be done in the near future by electric 
forces, and with such economy as to make the 
product available for agricultural purposes, is 
reasonably sure. In the meantime we must use 
the vetches, peas, beans, and clovers which are 
such willing workers. 

The legumes fulfil the three requisites of the 

cover crop: protection, humus, and the storing 

of nitrogen. That was why, when the corn in 

the < rcliard was last cultivated in July, I planted 

cow peas between the rows. The peas made a 

fair growth in spite of the dry season, and after 

the com was cut they furnished fine pasture for 

the brood sows, that ate the peas and trampled 

down the vines. In the spring ploughing this 

black mat was turned under, and with it went a 

store of fertility to fatten the land. Cow peas 

were sowed in all the corn land in 1897, and the 

rule of the farm is to sow corn-fields with peas, 

crimson clover, or some other leguminous plant. 

As my land is divided almost equally each year 

between corn and oats, which follow each other, 

it gets a cover crop turned under every two 

years over the whole of it. Great quantities of 

manure are hauled upon the oat stubble in the 

early spring, and these fields are planted to corn, 

while the corn stubble is fertilized by the cover 

crop, and oats are sown. The land is taxed 

heavily every year, but it, increases in fertility 

and crop-making capacity. For the past two 

years my oats have averaged forty-seven bushels 



DEEP WATERS 



97S 



and my corn nearly sixty-eight bushels per acre. 
Tiiere is no waste land in my fields, and w- have 
made sucli a strenuous fight against weeds that 
they no longer seriously tax tin- land. The wis- 
dom of the work done on the fence rows is now 
apparent. The ploughiiij,' and seeding made it 
easy to keep the brush and weeds down; hay 
gathered close to the fences more than pays us 
for the mowing ; and we have no tall weed heads 
to load the wind with seeds. This is a maUer 
which is not sufficiently considered by the mi y,r- 
ity of farmers, for weeds are allowed to tax the 
land almost as much as crops do, and yet they 
pay no rent. Fence lines and corners are usually 
breeding beds for these pests, and it will pay any 
landowner to suppress them. 



r. 

U \ 



i: h': 




CHAPTER XLV 



DOtiS AND HORSES 



It was definitely decided in August that Jane 
was not to go back to Farniington. We had all 
been of two minds over this question, and it was 
a cotnfort to have it settled, though I always 
suspect that my share of it was not beyond the 
suspicion of selfishness. 

Jane was just past nineteen. She had a fair 
education, so fur as books go, and she did not 
wish to graduate simply for the honor of a 
diplomj,. Indeed, there were many studies be- 
tween her and the diploma which she loathed. 
She could never understand how a girl of healthy 
mind could care for mathematics, exact science, 
or dead languages. English and French were 
erough for her tongue, and history, literature, 
aud metaphysics enough for her mind. 

« I can learn much more from the books in 
your library and from the dogs and horses than 
I can at school, besides being a thousand times 
happier; and oh. Dad, if you will let me have 
a forge and workshop, I will make no end of 
things." 



DOGS AND HORSES 



378 



This was a new idea to me, and I looked into 
It with some interest. I knew tht.l, Jane was 
deft with her fi.igers, but I did not know that 
she nad a special wish to cultivate this deftness 
or to put it to practical use. 

"What can you do with a forge?" said I 
"You can't shoe the horees or sharpen the 
ploughs. Can you make nails? They are 
machine-made now, and you couldn't earn ten 
cents a week, even at horse-shoe nails." 

"I don't want to make nails. Dad; I want to 
work in copper and brass, and i-on, too, but in 
girl fashion. Mary Town has a forge in Hart- 
ford, and I spent lots of Saturdays with her 
She says thai I am cleverer than she is, but of 
course she was jollying me, for she makes beauti- 
ful things; but I can learn, and it's great fun " 

"What kind of things does this young ladv 
make, dear?" ^ & j 

"Lamp-shades, paper-knives, hinges, bag-tops, 
buckles, and lots of things. She could sell them 
too if she had to. It's like learning a trade, 
Dad." ' 

"All right, child, you shall have a forge, if 
you will agree not to burn yourself up. Do 
you roll up your sleeves and wear a leather 
apron ? " 

« Why, of course, just like a blacksmith ; only 
mine will be of soft brown leather and pinked 
at the edges." 

So Jane was to have her forge. We selected 



276 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



Ifi' 



a site for it at once in the grove to the east of 
the house and about 150 yards away, and set 
the carpenter at work. The shop proved to 
be a feature of the place, and soon became 
a favorite resort for old and young for five 
o'clock teas and small gossiping parties. The 
house was a shingled cottage, sixteen by thirty- 
two, divided into two rooms. The first room, 
sixteen by twenty, was the company room, 
but it contained a work bench as well as the 
dainty trappings of a girl's lounging room. In 
the centre of the wall that separated the rooms 
was a huge brick chimney, with a fireplace in 
the front room and a forge bed in the rear room, 
which was the forge proper. 

I suppose I must charge the 1460 which this 
outfit cost to the farm account and pay yearly 
interest on it, for it is a fixture ; but I protest 
that it is not essential to the construction of a 
factory farm, and it may be omitted by those 
who have no daughter Jane. 

There were other things hinging on Jane's 
home-staying which made me think that, from the 
standpoint of economy, I had made a mistake 
in not sending her back to Farmington. It was 
not long before the dog proposition was sprung 
upon me ; insidiously at first, until I had half 
committed myself, and then with such force and 
sweep as to take me off my prudent feet. My 
own faithful terrier, which had dogged my heels 
for three years, Loemed a member of the family, 



DOGS AND HORSES 277 

and reasonably satisfied my dog needs. That 
Jane should wish a terrier of some sort to tug 
at her skirts and claw her lace was no more 
than natural, and I was quite willing to buy a 
blue blood and think nothing of the «20 or $30 
which it might cost. We canvassed the list of 
terriers, — bull, Boston, fox, Irish, Skye, Scotch, 
Airedale, and all, —and had much to say in 

favor of each. One day Jane said : 

"Dad, what do you think of the Russian 
wolf-hound ? " 

"Fine as silk," said I, not seeing the trap; 
" the handsomest dog that runs." 

« I think so, too. I saw some beauties in the 
Seabright kennels. Wouldn't one of them look 
fine on the lawn ? — lemon and white, and so tall 
and silky. I saw one down there, and he wasn't 
a year old, but his tail looked like a great white 
ostrich feather, and it touched the ground. 
Wouldn't it be grand to have such a dog follow 
me when I rode. Say, Dad, why not have one ? " 
" What do you suppose a good one would 
cost ? " 

" I don't know, but a good bit more than a 
terrier, if they sell dogs by size. May I write 
and find out ? " 

« There's no harm in doing that," said I, like 
the jellyfish that I am. 

Jane wasted no time, but wrote at once, and 
at least seventeen times each day, until the reply 
came, she gave me such vivid accounts of the 



278 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



beauties of the beasts and of the pleasure she 
would have in owning one, that I grew enthusi- 
astic as well, and quite made up my mind that 
she should not be disappointed. When the 
letter came, there was suppressed excitement 
until she had read it, and then excitement un- 
suppressed. 

" Dad, we can have Alexis, son of Katinka by 
Peter the Great, for $125 1 See what the letter 
says: 'Eleven months old, tall and strong in 
quarters, white, with even lemon markings, 
better head than Marksman, and a sure winner 
in the best of company.' Isn't that great? 
And I don't think *125 is much, do you ? " 

« Not for a horse or a house, dear, but for a 
dog—" 

"But you know, Dad, this isn't a common 
dog. We mustn't think of it as a dog ; it's a 
barzoi ; that isn't too much for a barzoi, is it ? " 

" Not for a barzoi, or a yacht either ; I guess 
you will have to have one or the other." 

« The Seabright man says he has a girl dog 
by Marksman out of Katrina that is the very 
pictu,^ of Alexis, only not so large, and he will 
sell both to the same person for $200 ; they are 
such good friends." 

« Break away, daughter, do you want a steam 
launch with your yacht ? " 

« But just think. Dad, only f 76 for this one. 
You save $50, don't you see ? " 

"Dimly, I must confess, as through a glass 



DOGS AND HOESES 279 

darkly. But, dear, I may come to see it through 

januer. I m such a soft one that it's a wonder 
I m ever trusted with money " 

The natural thing occurred once more- the 
fool and l„s money parted company, and J^o oj 

lawn. To live on our lawn, did I ,v » v^ 
J,uch , Such wonderful crea'tures L J Lvfa 

wprp h„iu „ ^L Kennel and runs 

were Duilt near the carriace ham fi,-. 

twenty by one hundred feet Tncl^rd wihS 
a Lanr'"'-. '"''^ '^^""^'' ''^^' ^y sixTeen, wis 
l^ZtT "'i"''r "^ ''' ''•"'^' -'th two com! 
partments eight by eight (for Jane spoke for 
the future) and beds, benches, and Te usua 
fixtures which well-bred dogs are supposed t' 

The house for these dogs cost «200, so I was 
obhged o add another «400 to the interest-bearTn" 

I « T shin . . 'P/ °" '" '^'' ^^'^'°^'" though? 
sL H H f ' '" '"^"""^ **' * '°^«"^te," -and 
she did keep on. No sooner were the dogs s Je"y 

wo° M f ^" ^'^ ^^^^" ^° think how finet 
would look to be followed by this wonderfu 
pair along the country roads and through the 
streets of Exeter. To be followed, she must have 
a horse and a saddle and a bridle and a habil 
and later on I found that these things did not 



280 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 




I • :| 



grow on the bushes in our neighborhood. I drew 
a line at these things, however, and decided that 
they should not swell the farm account. Thus 
I keep from the reader's eye some of the foolish- 
ness of a doting parent who has always been as 
warm wax in the hands of his, nearly always, 
reasonable children. 

In my stable were two Kentucky-bred saddlers 
of much more than average quality, for they had 
strains of warm blood in their veins. There is 
no question nowadays as to the value of warm 
blood in either riding or driving horses. It gives 
ability, endurance, courage, and docility beyond 
expectation. One-sixteenth thorough blood will, 
in many Liiimals, dominate the fifteen-sixteenths 
of cold blood, and prove its virtue by unusual 
endurance, stamina, and wearing capacity. 

The blue-grass region of Kentucky has furnished 
some of th3 finest horses in the world, and I have 
owned several which gave grand service until 
they were eighteen or twenty years old. An 
honest horseman at Paris, Kentucky, has sold 
me a dozen or more, and I was will.nsr to trust 
his judgment for a saddler for Jane. My request 
to him was for a light-built horse ; weight, one 
thousand pounds ; game and spirited, but safe 
for a woman, and one broken to jump. Every- 
thing else, including price, was left to him. 

In good time Jane's horse came, and we were 
well pleased with it, as indeed we ought to have 
been. My Paris man wrote; "I send a bay 



DOGS AND HORSES 281 

as a kitten, can run like a deer, and jump like 
a kangaroo My sister has ridden her for four 
months, and she is not speaking to me now. If 
you don't like her, send her back » 

But I did like her, and I sent, instead, a con- 
siderable check. The mare was a bright bav 
wUh a white star on her forehead a^fwhUe 
stockmgs on her hind feet, stood fifteen hands 
three inches, weighed 980 pounds, and looked 
almost too light built; but when ;e not d the 
deep chest, strong loins, thin legs, and marvellouS 
th.ghs, we were free to admit that force and en- 
durance were promised. Jane was delighted. 

"Dad, ,f I live to be a hundred years old I 
will never forget this day. She's the sweetes 
horse that ever lived. I must find a nice name 
for her, and to-morrow we will take our first 
rjde you and Tom and Aloha and I_yes • 
that's her name." -^ ' 

We did ride the next day, and many days 
hereafter; and Aloha proved all and mo^e than 
tne Kentuckian had promised. 









■fl 



CHAPTER XLVI 



THE 8KIH-MILK TBUST 



The third quarter of the year made a better 
showing than any previous one, due chiefly to 
the sale of hogs in August. The hens did well 
up to September, when thev began to make new 
clothes for themselves and could not be bothered 
with egg-making. There were a few more than 
seven hundred in the laying pens, and nearly as 
many more rapidly approaching the useful age. 
The chief advantage in early chickens is that 
they will take their places at the nests in Octo- 
ber or November while the older ones are dress- 
making. This is important to one who looks 
for a steady iiicome from his hens, — October 
and November being the hardest months to pro- 
vide for. A few scattered eggs in the pullet 
runs showed that the late February and early 
March chickens were beginning to have a realiz- 
ing sense of their obligations to the world and 
to the Headman, and that they were getting into 
line to accept them. More cotton-seed meal was 
added to the morning mash for the old hens, and 
the corn meal was reduced a little and the oat- 
meal increased, as was also the red pepper ; but 

sn 



THE SKIM-MILK TRUST 283 

do what you will or feed what you like, the hen 
will Insist upon a vacation at this season of the 
year. You may shorten it, perhaps, but you 
cannot prevent it. The only way to keep the 
egg-basket full is to have a lot of youngsters 
coming on who will take up the laying for Oc- 
tober and November. 

We milked thirty-seven cows during July 
August, and September, and got more than a 
thousand pounds of milk a day. The butter sold 
amounted to a trifle more than »376 a month. 
I think this an excellent showing, considering the 
fact that the colony at Four Oaks never num- 
bered less than twenty-four during that time 
and often many more. ' 

I ought to say that the calves had the first 
claim to the skim-milk ; but as we never kept 
many for more tlian a few weeks, this claim was 
easily satisfied. It was like the bonds of a cor- 
poration, _ the first claim, but a comparatively 
small one. The hens came next ; they held pre- 
ferred stock, and always received a five-pound, 
semi-daily dividend to each pen of forty. The 
growing pigs came last; they held the common 
stock, which was often watered by the swill and 
dish-water from both houses and the buttermilk 
and butter-washing from the dairy. I hold that 
the feeding value of skim-milk is not less than 
forty cenu a hundred pounds, as we use it at 
Four Oaks. This seems a high price when it 
can often be bought for fifteen cents a hundred 



284 THE FAT OF THE LAND 

at the factories; but I claim that it is worth 
more than twice as much when fed in perfect 
freshness, — certainly $4 a day would not buy 
the skim-milk from my dairy, for it is worth 
more than that to me to feed. This by-product 
is essential to the smooth running of iny factory. 
Without it the chickens and pigs would not 
grow as fast, and it is the best food for laying 
hens, — nothing else will give a better egg-yield. 
The longer my experiment continues, the stronger 
is my faith that the combination of cow, hog, 
and hen, with fruit as a filler, are ideal ibr the 
factory farm. With such a plant well-started 
and well-managed, and with favorable surround- 
ings, I do not see how a man can prevent money 
from flowing to him in fair abundance. The 
record of the fourth quarter is as follows : — 

Butter . 11126.00 

£ggs 851.00 

Hogs 1807.00 

Total 13284.00 



CHAPTER XLVII 

NABOTH's vim lAKD 



One hazy, lazy October afternoon, as my 
friend Kyrle and I sat on the broad porch hit- 
ting our pipes, sipping high balls, and watching 
the men and machines in tlie corn-fields, as all 
toiling sons of the soil should do, he said: 

" Doctor, I don't think you've made any mis- 
take in this business." 

"Lots of them, Kyrle; but none too serious 
to mend." 

« Yes, I suppose so ; but I didn't mean it that 
waj'. It was no mistake when you made the 
change." 

" You're right, old man. It's done me a heap 
of good, and Polly and the youngsters were 
never so happy. I only wish we had done it 
earlier." 

" Do you think I could manage a farm ? " 

" Why, of course you can ; you've managed 
your business, haven't you ? You've grown rich 
in a business which is a great sight more taxing. 
How have you done it ? " 

« By using my head, I suppose." 

28S 



2M 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



'I 








"That's just it; if a man will use his head, 
any business will go, — farming or malting hats. 
It's the gray matter that counts, and the fellow 
that puts a little more of it into his business 
than his neighbor does, is the one who'll get on." 

"But farming is different; so much seems to 
depend upon winds and rains and frosts and 
accidents of all sorts that are out of one's line." 

" Not so much as ou think, Kyrle. Of course 
these things cut in, it one must discount them 
in farming as in other lines of business. A total 
crop failure is an unknown thing in this region ; 
we can count on sufficient rain for a moderate 
crop every year, and we know pretty well when 
to look for frojts. If a man will do well by his 
land, the harvest will come as sure as taxes. All 
the f-\rmer has to do is to make the best of what 
Nature and intelligent cultivation will always 
produce. But he must use his gray matter in 
other ways than in just planning the rotation of 
crops. When he Inds his raw staples selling for 

a good deal less than actual value, less than 

he can produce them for, he should go into the 
market and buy agaimt liigher prices, for he 
may be absolutely certain that higher prices will 
come." 

« But how is one to know ? Corn changes .so 
that one can't form much idea of its actual 
value." 

«No more than other staples. You know 
what fur is worth, because you've watched the 



NABOTH'8 VINEYABD 2« 

fur market for twenty yearn. If it should fall 
to half ita present price, you would feel safe in 
buying a lot. You know that it would make 
just as good haU as it ever did, and that the 
hats, in all probability, would give you the usual 
profit. It's the same with corn and oats. I 
know their feeding value; and when they fall 
much b^low it, I fill my granary, because for 
my purpose they are as valuable as if they cost 
three times as much. Last year I bought ten 
thousand bushels of com and oate at a tremen- 
dously low price. I don't expect to have such a 
chance again ; but I shall watch the market, and 
if corn goes below thirty cents or oats below 
twenty cents, I -Ul fill my granary to the roof. 
I can make them pay big profits on such prices." 
« Will "T- sell this plant, Williams?" 
" Not I song, you may be sure." 
« What \a it cost you to date ? " 
"Don't k 'ow exactly, — between #80,000 and 
190,000, I reckon ; tiie books will show." 

« Will you take twenty ner cent advance on 
what the books show ? I'm on the fjquare." 

« Now see here, old man, what would be the 
good of selling this factory for $100,000 ? How 
could I place the money so that it would bring 
me half the things which this farm brings me 
now ? Could I live in a better house, or have 
better food, better service, better friends, or a 
better way of entertaining them? You know 
that #6000 or *6000 a year would not supply 



988 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



!., : 



f t'! 



'h. 



•i .: 



half the luxury which we secure at Four Oaks, 
or give half the enjoyment to my family or my 
friends. Don't you see that it makes little dif- 
ference what we call our expenses out here, so 
long as the farm pays them and gives us a sur- 
plus besides? The investment is not large for 
one to get a living from, and it makes possible 
a lot of things which would be counted rank 
extravagance in the city. Here's one of them." 

A cavalcade was just entering the home lot. 
First came Jessie Gordon on her thoroughbred 
mare Lightfoot, and "th her, Laura on my 
Jerry. Laura's foot is as dainty in the stirrup 
as on the rugs, and she has Jerry's consent and 
mine to put it where she likes. Following them 
were Jane and Bill Jackson, with Jane's slender 
mare looking absolutely delicate beside the big 
brown gelding that carried Jackson's 190 pounds 
with ease. The horses all looked as if there had 
been " something doing," and they were hurried 
to the stables, ''"he ladies laughed and screamed 
for a season, as seems necessary for young ladies, 
and then departed, leaving us in peace. Jackson 
filled his pipe before remarking : — 

"I've been over the ridge into the Dunkard 
settlement, and they have the cholera there to 
beat the band. Joe Siegel lost sixty hogs in three 
days, and there are not ten well hogs in two miles. 
What do you think of that ? " 

" That means a hard ' fight mit Siegel,' " said 
Kyrle. 



NABOTH'S VINEYARD 



289 



" It ought to mean a closer quarantine on this 
side of the ridge," said I, " and you must fumi- 
gate your clotlies before you appear before your 
swine, Jacltson. It's more liliely to be swine 
plague than cholera at this time of the year, but 
it's just as bad ; one can hardh- tell the differ- 
ence, and we m<ist look sharp." 

" How does the contagion travel, Doctor ?" 

» On horseback, when such chumps as you can 
be found. You probably have some millions of 
germs up your sleeve now, or, more likely, on 
your back, and I wouldn't let you go into my 
hog pen for a 12000 note. I'm so well quar- 
antined that I don't much fear contagion ; but 
there's always danger from infected dust. The 
wind blows it about, and any mote may be an 
automobile for a whole colony of bacteria, which 
may decide to picnic in my [liggery. This dry 
weather is bad for us, and if we get heavy winds 
from off the ridge, I'm going to whistle for rain." 

" I say, Williams, when you came out here I 
thought you a tenderfoot, sure enough, who was 
likely to pay money for experience ; but, by the 
jumping Jews ! you've given us natives cards and 
spades." 

« I was a tenderfoot so far as practical experi- 
ence goes, but I tried to use the everyday sense 
which God gave me, and I find that's about all a 
man needs to run a business like this." 

"You run it all right, for returns, and that's 
what we are after ; and I'm beginning to catch 



290 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



on. I want you to tell me, before Kyrle here, 
why you gare me that bull two years ago." 

«< What's the matter with the bull, Jackson 7 
Isn't he all right ? " 

« Sure he's all right, and as fine as silk ; but 
why did you give him to me ? Why didn't you 
keep him for yourself ? " 

« Well, Bill, I thought you would like him, and 
we were neighbors, and — " 

"You thought I would save you the trouble 
of keeping him, didn't you ? " 

« Well, perhaps that did have some influence. 
You see, this is a factory farm from fence to 
fence, except this forty which Polly bosses, 
and the utilitarian idea is on top. Keeping the 
bull didn't exactly run with my notion of econ- 
omy, especially when I could conveniently have 
him kept so near, and at the same time be gen- 
erous to a neighbor." 

« That's it, and it's taken me two years to find 
it out. You're trying to follow that idea all 
along the line. You're dead right, and I'm going 
to tag on, if you don't mind. I was glad enough 
for your present at the time, and I'm glad yet ; 
but I've learned my lesson, and you may bet your 
dear life that no man will ever again givemeabull." 
« That's right, Jackson. Now you have struck 
the key-note; stick to it, and you will make 
money twice as fast as you have done. Have a 
mark, and keep your eye on it, and your plough 
will turn a straight furrow." 



NABOTH'S VmEYARD 



291 



Jackson sent for his horse, and just before he 
mounted, I said, "Are you thinking of selling 
your farm ? " 

« I used to think of it, but I've been to school 
lately and can ' do my sums' better. No, I guess 
I won't sell the paternal acres ; but who wants 
to buy?" 

« Kyrle, here, is looking for a farm about the 
size of yours, and to tell you the truth I should 
like him for a neighbor. It's dollari ; dough- 
nuts that I could give hin- i whole hei . of bulls." 
" Indeed, you can't do anything of the kind ! 
I wouldn't take a gold dollar from you until I 
had it tested. I'm on to your curves." 

"But seriously, Jackson, I must have more land ; 
my stock will eat me out of house and home by 
the time the factory is running full steam! What 
would you say to a proposition of $10,000 for one 
hundred acres along my north line 1 " 

« A year ago I would have jumped at it. Now 
I say < nit.' I need it all, Doctor ; I told you I 
was going to tag on. But what's the matter 
with the old lady's quarter across your sou^h 
road ? " 

"Nothing's the matter with the land, only she 
won't sell it at any price." 

« I know ; but that drunken brute of a son will 
sell as soon as she's under the sod, and they say 
the poor old girl is on her last legs, — down with 
distemper or some other beastly disease. I'll tell 
you what I'll do. I'll sound the renegade son 



I 



292 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



™J 



and see how he measures. Some one will get it 
before long, and it might as well be you." 

Jackson g- Hoped off, and Kyrle and I sat on 
the porch and divided the widow's 160-acre mite. 
It was a good strip of land, lying a fair mile on 
the south road and a quarter of a mile deep. 
The buildings were of no value, the fences were 
ragged to a degree, but I coveted the land. It 
was the vineyard of Naboth to me, and I planned 
its future with my friend and accessory sitting 
by. I destroyed the estimable old lady's house 
and barns, ran my ploughshares through her gar- 
den and flower beds, and turned the home site 
into one great field of lusty corn, without so much 
as saying by your leave. Thus does the greed 
of land grow upon one. But in truth, I saw that 
I must have more land. My factory would re- 
quire more than ten thousand bushels of grain, 
with forage and green foods in proportion, to 
meet its full capacity, and I could not hope to 
get so much from the land then under cultiva- 
tion. Again, in a few years — a very few the 

fifty acres of orchard would be no longer avail- 
able for crops, and this would still further reduce 
my tillable land. With the orchards out of use, 
I should have but 124 acres for all crops other 
than hay. If I could add this coveted 160, it 
would give me 250 acres of excellent land for 
intensive farming. 

" I should like it on this side of the road," said 
I, « but I suppose that will have to do." 



NABOTH'S VINEYABD 



293 



« What will have to do ? " asked Kyrle. 

" The 160 acres over there." 

" You unconscionable wretch ! Have you 
evicted the poor widow, and she on her death- 
bed ? For stiffening the neck and hardening the 
heart, commend me to the close-to-nature life of 
the farmer. I wouldn't own a farm for worlds. 
It risks one's immortality. Give me the wicked 
city for pasturage — and a friend who will run 
a farm, at his own risk, and give me the benefit 
of it." 



CHAPTER XLVIII 



MAIDS AND MALLABDB 






m 
'"' 



fH^ I 



Wk have so rarely entered our house with 
the reader that he knows little of its domestic 
machinery. So much depends upon this machin- 
ery that one must always take it into considera- 
tion when reckoning the pleasures and even the 
comforts of life anywhere, aud this is especially 
true in the country. Wo have such a lot of 
people about that our servants cannot sing the 
song of lonesomeness that m, kes dolor for most 
suburbanites. They are « churched " as often as 
they wish, and we pay city wages ; but still it is 
not all clear sailing in this quarter of Polly's 
realm. I fancy that we get on better than some 
of our neighbors; but we do not brag, and I 
usually feel that I am smoking my pipe in a 
powder magazine. There is something essentially 
wrong in the working-girl world, and I am glad 
that I was not born to set it right. We cannot 
down the spirit of unrest and improvidence that 
holds possession of cooks and waitresses, and we 
needs must suffer it with such patience as we 
can. 

am 



MAIDS AND MALLAED8 29S 

Two of our house servants were more or less 
permanent; that is, they had been with us since 
we opened the house, and were as content as 
restless spirits can be. These were the house- 
keeper and the cook, — the hub of the house. 
Ihe former is a Norwegian, tall, angular, and 
capable, with a knot of yellow hair at the back 
of her head, —ostensibly for sticking lead pencils 
mto, — and a disposition to keep things snug and 
clean. Her duties include the general supervi- 
sion of both houses and the special charge of 
store-rooms, food cellars, and table supplies of all 
sorts. She is efficient, she whistles while she 
works, and I see but little of her. I suspect that 
Polly knows her well. 

The cook, Mary, is small, Irish, gray, with the 
temper of a pepper-pod and the voice of a guinea- 
hen suffering from bronchitis, but she can cook 
like an angel. She is an artist, and I feel as if 
the seven-dollar-a-week stipend were but a « tip " 
to her, and that sometime she will present me 
with a bill for her services. My safeguard, and 
one that I cherish, is an angry word from her 
to the housekeeper. She jeeringly asserted that 
she, the cook, got 12 a week more than she, 
the housekeeper, did. As every one knows that 
the housekeeper has 95 a week, I am holding 
this evidence against the time when Mary asks 
for a lump sum adequate to her deserts. The 
number of things which Mary can make out of 
everything and out of nothing is wonderful ; and 



296 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



i| 






^ 



it mi 



I am fully persuaded that all the moneys paid to 
a really good cook are moneys put into the bank. 
I often make trips to the kitchen to tell Mary 
that " the dinner was great," or that « Mrs. 
Kyrle wants the receipt for that pudding," or 
that "my friend Kyrle asks^ if he may see you 
make a salad dressing ; " but « don't do it, Mary ; 
let the secret die with you." The cook cackles, 
like the guinea-hen that she is, but the dishes are 
none the worse for the commendaiion. 

The laundress is just a washerwoman, so far 
as I know. She undoiibtedly changes with the 
seasons, but I do not see her, though the clothes 
are always bleaching on the grass at the back of 
the house. 

The maids are as changeable as old-fashioned 
silk. There are always two of them ; but which 
two, is beyond me. I tell Polly that Four Oaks 
is a sprocket-wheel for maids, with two links of 
an endless chain always on top. It makes but 
little difference which links are up, so the work 
goes smoothly. Polly thinks the maids come 
to Four Oaks just as less independent folk go to 
the mountains or the shore, for a vacation, or 
to be able to say to the policeman, « Pve been to 
the country." Their system is past finding out ; 
but no matter what it is, we get our dishes 
washed and our beds made without serious in- 
convenience. The wage account in the house 
amounts to just $25 a week. My pet system of 
an increasing wage for protracted service doesn't 



MAIDS AND MALLARDS 



297 



appeal to these birds of passage, who alight long 
enough to fill their crops with our wild rice and 
celery, and then take wing for other feeding- 
grounds. This kind of life seems fitted for mal- 
lards and maids, and I have no quarrel with 
either. From my view, there are happier in- 
stincts tlian those which impel migration; but 
remembering that personal views are best applied 
to personal use, I wish both maids and mallards 
bon voyage. - 



CHAPTER XLIX 



V- 






'V 



;i i 



m 



') . 



THK SUNKEN OABOEN 

Extending directly west from the porch for 
160 feet is an open pergola, of simple construc- 
tion, but fast gaining beauty from the rapid 
growth of climbers which Polly and Johnson 
have planted. It is floored with brick for the 
protection of dainty feet, and near the western 
end cluster rustic benches, chairs, tables, and 
such things as women and gardeners love. Fac- 
ing the west 50 feet of this pergola is Polly's 
sunken flower garden, which is her special 
pride. It extends south 100 feet, and is built in 
the side of the hill so that its eastern wall just 
shows a coping above the close-cropped lawn. 
Of course the western wall is much higher, as the 
lawn slopes sharply ; but it was filled in so as to 
make this wall-enclosed garden quite level. The 
walls which rise ubove the flower beds 4i feet, 
are beginning to look decorated, thanks to creep^ 
ing vines and other things which a cunning 
gardener and Polly know. Flowers of all sorts 
— annuals, biennials (triennials, perhaps), and 
perennials — cover the beds, which are laid out 
in strange, irregular fashion, far indeed from my 
308 



THE SUNKEN OABDEH 



399 



rectangular style. These beds please the eye of 
the mistress, and of her friends, too, if they arc 
candid in their remarks, which I doubt. 

While excavating the garden we found a 
granite boulder shaped somewhat like an egg 
and nearly five feet long. It was a big thing, 
and not very shapely ; but it came from the soil, 
and Polly wanted it for the base of her sun-dial. 
We placed it, big end down, in the mathematical 
centre of the garden (I insisted on that), and sunk 
it into the ground to make it solid ; then a stone 
mason fashioned a flat space on the top to ac- 
commodate an old brass dial that Polly hud found 
in Boston. The dial is not half bad. From the 
heavy, octagonal brass base rises a slender quill 
to cast its shadow on the figured circle, while 
around this circle old English characters ask, 
« Am I not wise, who note only bright hours ? " 
A plat of sod surrounds the dial, and Polly goes 
to it at least once a day to set her watch by the 
shadow of the quill, though I have told her a 
hundred times that it is seventeen minutes oflF 
standard time. I am convinced that this estima- 
ble lady wilfully ignores conventional time and 
marks her cycles by such divisions as " catalogue 
time," "seed-buying time," "planting time," 
« sprouting time," « spraying time," " flowering 
time," « seed-gathering time," " mulching time," 
and "dreary time," until (;he catalogues come 
again. I know it seemed no "me at all until 
she bad let me }n to the tune of f687 for the 



300 



THE FAT OF THE LASD 



pergola u-alls, and garden. She bought the sun- 
dml with her own money. I am thankful t^ Zy, 
and It doesn't enter into this account. I think 
.t must have cost a pretty penny, for she had a 
hat « made over " that spring. 

Polly has planted the lawn with a lot of shade 
trees and shrubs, and has added some clump, o[ 
fruit trees. Few trees have been planted near 
the h„u^. the four fine oaks, from which we 
take our name, stand without rivals and give 

end of the porch .s a tower of strength and 
beauty, which is "seen and known of all men " 
whde the three white oaks farther to the wl 
form a clump which casts a grateful shade when 

ore^". r" '° ^''^'"''- '^^' ^'^■^n ''ores of 
forest to the east is left severely alone, save 

Poy watches so closely that the foot of the 
Philistine rarely crushes her wild flowers. Its 
sacredne-ss recalls the schoolgirl's definition of a 
virgin forest: «One in which the hand of man 
has never dared to put his foot into it." Polly 
wanders in this grove for houre; but then she 
knows where and how things ^row and he 
footsteps are followed by flowers.^ If 'by chance 
he brushes one down, it rises at once, shakes off 

beLr?h' ? "^^I' "^ °"«^* *° ^^^^ known 
better than to wander so far from home" 

bhe keeps a wise eye on the vegetable garden, 
too, and has stores of knowledge as to seed-time 



$ 



THE SUNKEN GARDEN 301 

and harvest and the correct succession of garden 

which Nelson built, for flowers and green stufT 
through the winter, she said, but I fhink t is 
chiefly a plane where she can play in the dirt 
when the weather is bad. An.how, C\tZ 
house cost the fa„„ f442. and the interest t" 
taxes are going on yet. I as well as Polly had 
to do so.„o building that autu„.n. Three n,o^ 
chicken-houses were built, making five in all 
Each consists ,n ten compartments twenty fee 
w.de, onvhich each is intended to house'foX 

room for forty pens of forty each, which was 
my hm.t for laying hens. In addilion was le 
house of ten pens for half-grown chickens and 
fattenmg fowls. It would take the hatch of 
anc,, .r year to Ml my pens, but one must pro- 
vide for the future. These three houses cost^ in 
n,und numbers, 82100, five times as much* a^ 

p.a^i;ti'°"^'-*'"^--"-«°>"«^ 

I also built a cowhouse on the same plan as 
he first one, but about half the size. This was 
for the dry cows and the heifers. It cost $2230 
and gave me stable room enough for the waiting 
s ock, so that I could count on forty milch cowf 
all the time, when my herd was once balanced. 
Forty cows giving milk, six hundred swine of all 
ages putting on fat or doing whatever other 
duty came to hand, fifteen or sixteen hundred 



902 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



■•■;' 



hens laying eggs when not otherwise engaged, 
three thousand apple trees striving with all 
their might to get large enough to bear fruit, — 
these made up my ideal of a factory farm ; 
and it looked as if one year more would see it 
complete. 

No rain fell in October, and my brook became 
such a little brook that I dared to correct its 
ways. We spent a week with teams, ploughs, 
and scrapers, cutting the fringe and frills away 
from it, and reducing it to severe simplicity. It 
is strange, but true, that this reversion to sim- 
plicity robbed it of its shy ways and rustic 
beauty, and left it boldly staring with open eyes 
and gaping with wide-stretched mouth at the 
men who turned from it. We put in about two 
thousand feet of tile drainage on both sides of 
what Polly called "that ditch," and this com- 
pleted the improvements on the low lands. The 
land, indeed, was not too low to bear good crops, 
but it was lightened by under drainage and 
yielded more each after year. 

The tiles cost me five cents per foot, or §100 
for the whole. The work was done by my own 
men. 



•f .; 
i 



CHAPTER L 



THE HEADMAH GENERALIZES 



Jackson's prophecy came true. The old lady 
died, and before the ground was fairly settled 
around her the improvident son accepted a cash 
offer of 175 per acre for his homestead, and the 
farm was added to mine. This was in Novem- 
ber. I at once spent $640 for 2^ miles of fenc- 
ing to enclose it in one field, charging the farm 
account with 112,640 for the land and fence. 

This transaction was a bargain, from my point 
of view ; and it was a good sale, from the stand- 
point of the other man, for he put 112,000 away 
at five per cent interest, and felt that he need 
never do a stroke of work again. A lazy man is 
easily satisfied. 

In December I sold 283 hogs. It was a choice 
lot, as much alike as peas in a pod, and gave an 
average weight of 276 pounds ; but the market 
was exceedingly low. I received the highest 
quotation for the month, $3.60 per hundred, and 
the lot netted $2702. 

It seems hard luck to be obliged to sell fine 
swine at such a price, and a good many farmers 
would hold their stock in the hope of a rise; 
8^ 



,.W! 



304 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



IJ:- ^ 



but I do not think tliis prudent. When a pig is 
250 days old, if he has been pushed, he has 
reached his greatest profit-growth ; and he should 
be sold, even though the market be low. If one 
could be certain that within a reasonable time, 
say thirty days, there would be a marke'^' advance, 
it might do to hold ; but no one can be sure of 
this, f>"d it doesn't usually pay to wait. Market 
the proauct wlien at its best, is the rule at Four 
Oaks. The young hog is undoubtedly at his best 
from eight to nine months old. He has made 
a maximum growth on minimum feed, and from 
that time on he will eat more and give smaller 
proportionate returns. There is danger, too, that 
he will grow stale ; for he has been subjected to 
a forcing system which contemplated a definite 
time limit and which cannot extend much be- 
yond that limit without risks. Force your swine 
not longer than nine months and sell for what you 
can get, and you will make more money in the 
long run than by trying to catch a high market. 
I sold in December something more than four 
hundred cockerels, which brought $215. The 
apples from the old trees were good that year, 
but not so abundant as the year before, and they 
brought 1387,-12.25 per tree. The hens laid 
few eggs in October and November, though they 
resumed work in December; but the pullets did 
themselves proud. Sam said he gathered from 
fourteen to twenty eggs a day from each pen of 
forty, which is better than forty per cent. We 



THE HEADMAN GENERALIZES 305 

sold nearly eighteen liundred dozen eggs during 
tliis quarter, for »553. The butter account 
showed nearly twenty-eight hundred pounds 
sold, whicli brought *894, and the sale of elevv^n 
calves brouglit $130. These sales closed the 
credit side of our ledger for the year. 



Apples 
Calvea 
Cockerels . 
1785 doz. eggs , 
2780 lb. butter 
283 hogs . 
Total 



•337.00 
130.00 
215.00 
653.00 
894.00 

2702.00 



14831.00 



In making up the expense account of that 
year and the previous one, I found that I should 
be able in future to say with a good deal of 
e.xactness what the gross amount would be, 
without much figuring. The interest account 
would steadily decrease, I hoped, wliile the wage 
account would increase as steadily until it ap- 
proached 1.5500 ; that year it was 14662. Each 
man who had been on the farm more than six 
months received *18 more that year than he did 
the year before, and this increase would continue 
until the maximum wage of f40 a month was 
reached ; but while some would stay long enough 
to earn the maximum, others would drop out, 
and new men would begin work at $20 a month. 
I felt safe, therefore, in fixing $5500 as the maxi- 
mum wage limit of any year. Time has proven 
the correctness of this estimate, for $5372 is the 



ao6 



THE PAT OF THE LAND 




;i'a 



most I have paid for wages during the seven 
years since this experiment was inaugurated. 

The food purchased for cows, hogs, and hens 
may also be definitely estimated. It costs about 
$30 a year for each cow, 81 for each hog, and thirty 
cents for each hen. Everything else comes from 
the land, and is covered by such fixed charges 
as interest, wages, taxes, insurance, repairs, and 
replenishments. The food for the colony at 
Four Oaks, usually bought at wholesale, doesn't 
cost more than |5 a month per capita. This 
seems small to a man who is in the habit of 
paying cash for everything that enters his doors ; 
but it amply provides for comforts and even for 
luxuries, not only for the household, but also for 
the stranger within the gates. In the city, where 
water and ice cost money and the daily purchase 
of food is taxed by three or four middlemen, one 
cannot realize the factory farmer's independence 
of tradesmen. I do not mean that this sum will 
furnish terrapin and champagne, but I do not 
understand that terrapin and champagne are nec- 
essary to comfort, health, or happiness. 

Let us look for a moment at some of the 
things which the factory farmer does not buy, 
and perhaps we shall see that a comfortable 
existence need not demand much more. His 
cows give him milk, cream, butter, and veal ; his 
swine give roast pig, fresh pork, salt pork, ham, 
bacon, sausages, and lard ; his hens give eggs and 
poultry ; his fields yield hulled corn, samp, and 



THE HEADMAK GENERALIZES 307 

com mea! ; his orchards give apples, pears, peaches, 
quinces, plums, and cherries; his bushes give 
currants, gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries, 
blackberries; his vines give grapes; his forests 
give hickory nuts, butternuts, and hazel nuts; 
and, best of all, his garden gives more than 
twenty varieties of toothsome and wholesome 
vegetables in profusion. The whole fruit and 
vegetable product of the temperate zone is at his 
door, and he has but to put forth his hand and 
take it. The skilled housewife makes wonderful 
provision against winter from the cpulence of 
summer, and her storehouse is crowded with 
innumerable glass cells rich in the spoils of 
orchard and garden. There is scant use for the 
grocer and the butcher under such conditions. 
I am so well convinced that my estimate of 15 
a month is liberal that I have taxed the account 
with all the salt used on the farm. 



I 



CHAPTER LI 



THE OUAND-GIRLS 

The click of Jane's liammer began to be heard 
in November, and liardly a day passed without 
some music frorji this « Forge in the Forest." 
Sir Tom made a permanent station of the work- 
sliop, where he spent hours in a comfortable 
chair, drawing nourishment from the head of 
his cane and pleasure from watching the girl 
at the anvil. I susi)Oct that he planted him.self 
in the corner of the forge to safeguard Jane ; for 
he had an abiding fear that she would take fire, 
and he wished to be near at hand to put her 
out. He procured a small Babcock extinguisher 
and a half-dozen hand-grenades, and with these 
instruments he constituted himself a very eiS- 
cient volunteer fire department. He made her 
promise, also, that she would have definite hours 
for heavy work, that he might be on watch; 
and so fond was she of his company, or rather 
of his presence, for he talked but little, that sh 
kept close to the schedule. 

Laura had a favorite corner in the forge, where 
she often turned a hem or a couplet. She was 



THK GBANJJ-GIRLS 



S09 



equally dexterous at either ; and Sir Tom watched 
her, too, with an admiring eye. I once heard 
lum say : 

"Milady Laura, it is the regret of me life that 
1 came mto tlie world a generation too soon." 

Laura sometimes went away — she called it 
"gomg home," but we scoffed the term — and 
the doldrums blew until she returned. Sir Tom 
dined with us nearly every evening through the 
fall and early winter; and when he, and Kate 
and Tom and the grand-girls, and the Kyrles 
and Laura were at Four Oaks, there was little 
to be desired. The grand-girls were nearly five 
and seven now, and they were a great help to 
the Headman. My terrier was no closer to my 
heels from morning to night than were these 
youngsters. They took to country life like the 
young animals they were, and made friends with 
all, from Thompson down. They must needs 
watch the sheep as they walked their endless 
way on the treadmill night and morning; they 
thrust their hands into hundreds of nests and 
placed the spoils in Sam's big baskets; they 
watched the calves at their patent feeders, which 
deceived the calves, but not the girls; they 
climbed into the grain bins and tobogganed on 
the corn ; they haunted the cow-barn at milking 
t-me and wondered much ; but the chiefest of 
their delights was the beautiful white pig which 
Anderson gave them. A little movable pen was 
provided for this favorite, and the youngsters fed 



310 



THE TAT OF THE LAND 




it several times a day with warm milk from a 
nursing-bottle, like any other motherless child. 
The pig loved its foster-mothers, and squealed 
for them most of the time when it was not eating 
or sleeping ; fortunately, a pig can do much of 
both. It grew playful and intelligent, and took 
on strange little human ways which made one 
wonder if Darwin were right in his conclusion 
that we are all ascended from the ape. I have 
seen features and traits of character so distinctly 
piggish as to rouse my suspicions that the genea- 
logical line is not free from a cross of *u» acrofa. 
The pig grew in stature and in wisdom, but not 
in grace, from day to day, until it threatened to 
dominate the place. However, it was lost during 
the absence of its friends, — to be replaced by a 
younger one at the next visit. 

" Do your pigs get lost when you are away ? " 
asked No. 1. 

« Not often, dear." 

"It's only pet pigs that runds away," said 
No. 2, " and I don't care, for it rooted me." 

The pet pig is still a favorite with the grand- 
girls, but it always runs away in the fall. 

Kate loved to come to Four Oaks, and she 
spent so much time there that she often said : — 

« We have no right to that $1200 ; we spend 
four times as much time here as you all do in 
town." 

"That's all right daughter, but I wish you 
would spend twice as much time here as you do, 



THE GEAND-GIBL8 



311 



and I also wish that the 11200 were twice as 
much as it is." 

Time was running so smoothly with us that 
we « knocked on wood " each morning for fear 
our luck would break. 

The cottage which had once served ra a tem- 
porary granary, and which had been moved to 
the building line two years before, was now 
turned into an overflow house against the time 
when Jack should come home for the winter vaca- 
tion. Polly had decided to have " just as many 
as we can hold, and some more," and as the 
heaviest duties fell upon her, the rest of us could 
hardly find fault. The partitions were torn out 
of the cottage, and it was opened up into one room, 
except for the kitchen, which was turned into a 
bath-room. Six single iron beds were put up, 
and the place was made comfortable by an old- 
fashioned, air-tight, sheet-iron stove with a great 
hole in the top through which big chunks and 
knots of wood were fed. This stove would keep 
fire all night, and, while not up to latter-day 
demands, it was quite satisfactory to the warm- 
blooded boys who used it. The expense of over- 
hauling the cottage was 1214. Tom, Kate, and 
the grand-girls were to be with us, of course, and 
so were the Kyrles, Sir Tom, Jessie Gordon, Flor- 
ence, Madeline, and Alice Chase. Jack was to 
bring Jarvis and two other men besides Frank 
and Phil of last year's party. 

The six boys were bestov^'ed in the cottage, 



S12 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



wherfi tliey made merry without seriously in- 
terrupting sleep in the main house. The others 
found comfortaljle quarters under our roof, ex- 
cept Sir Tom, wiio would go home some time in 
the night, to return before lunch the next day. 

With uch a houseful of people, the cook was 
worked to the bone ; but she gloried in it, and 
cackled harder than ever. I believe she gave 
warning twice during those ten days ; but Polly 
has a way with h^r which Mary cannot resist. 
I do not think we uouid have driven that cook 
out of the house with a club when there was 
such an opportunity for her to distinguish her- 
self. Her warnings were simply matters of habit. 

The holidays were filled with «'.■!■ things as 

a congenial country house-party can furnish 

the wholesomest, joUiest things in the world ; 
and the end, when it came, was regretted by 
all. I grew to feel a little bit jealous of Jarvis's 
attentions to Jane, for they looked serious, and 
she was not made unhappy by them. Jarvis 
was all that was honest and manly, but I could 
not think of giving up Jane, even to the best of 
fellows. I wanted her for my old age. I sus- 
pect that a loving father can dig deeper into the 
mud of selfishness than any other man, and yet 
feel all the time that he is doing God service. 
It is in accord with nature that a daughter 
should take the bit in her teeth and bolt away from 
this restraining selfishness, but the man who is left 
by the roadside cannot always see it in that light. 






CHAPTER LII 



THE THIRD BECKONINO 

On the afternoon of December 31 I called a 
meeting of the committee of ways and ro-.-ans, 
and Polly and I lo.;ked ourselves in my oiTue.' 
It was then two and a half yenrs since we com- 
menced the experiment of building a factory 
farm, which was to su|)i)ly us with comforts, 
luxuries, ind pleasures of life, and yet be self- 
supporting: a continuous experiment in eco- 
nomics. 

The building of the factory was practically 
completed, though not all of its machinery had 
yet been installed. We had spent our money 
freely, _ too freely, perhaps ; and we were now 
ready to watch the returns. Polly said: 

"There are some things we are sure of: we 
like the country, and it likes us. I have spent 
the happiest year of my life here. We've enter- 
tained more friends than ever before, and they've 
been better entertained, so that we are all right 
from the social standpoint. You are stronger 
and better than ever before, and so am I. Credit 
the^farm with these things, Mr. Headman, and 
you'll find that it doesn't owe us such an awful 
amount after all." 

313 



314 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



11 i 
■i 



"Are these things worth tlOOiOOO?" 
« Now, John, you don't mean that you've spent 
1100,000 ! What in the world have you. done 
with it? Just pigs and cows and chickens " 

"And greenhouses and sunken gardens and 
pergolas and kickshaws," said I. « But seriously, 
Polly, I think that we can show value for all that 
we have spent; and the whole amount is not 
three times what our city house cost, and that 
only covered our heads." 

» How do you figure values here ? " 

« We get a great deal more than simply shel- 
ter out of this place, and we have tangible values, 
too. Here are some of them : 480 acres of ex- 
cellent land, so well groomed and planted that it 
is worth of any man's money, 8120 per acre, or 
f57,600 ; buildings, water-plant, etc., all as good 
as new, $40,000 ; 44 cows, §4400 ; 10 heifers nearly 
two years old, $500 ; 8 horses, $1200 ; 60 brood 
BOWS, f 1000 ; 850 young pigs, $1700 ; 1800 laying 
hens, $1300; tools and machinery, $1500; that 
makes well over $100,000 in sight, besides all 
the things you mentioned before." 

"You haven't counted the six horses in my 
barn." 

"They haven't been charged to the farm, 
Polly." 

" Or the trees you've planted ? " 

"No, they go with the land to increase its 
value." 

"And my gardens, too?" 



THE THIRD BECKONING 



315 



I'm dying to 



"Yes, they are fixtures and count with the 
acres. You see, this land didn't cost quite tTS 
an acre, but I hold it #50 better for what we've 
done to it; I don't believe Bill Jackson would 
sell his for less. I offered him #10,000 for a 
hundred acres, and he refused. We've put up 
the price of real estate in this neighborhood, 
Mrs. Williams." 

" Well, let's get at the figures, 
see how we stand." 

" I have summarized them here : 

" To additional land and development of plant 120,35,3.00 

To interest on previous investment . . . 4,220.00 

"^»8e» 4,662.00 

Food for twenty-flve people .... 1,523.00 

Food for stock 2!l20.00 

Taxes and insurance 207.00 

Shoeing and repairs 309,00 

"Making in all (33,394.00 

spent this year. 

" The receipts are : — 

" First quarter . 
Second quarter . 
Third quarter . 
Fourth quarter . 

"Making Ill.lisiOO 

" But we agreed to pay 14000 a year to the 
farm for our food and shelter, if it did as well 
by us as the town house did. Shall we do it, 
Polly ? " 

"Why, of course; we've been no end more 
comfortable here." 

"Well, if we don't expect to get something 



tl,2«7.0O 
1,706.00 
3,284.00 
4,8.31.00 



316 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



for nothing, I think we ought to add it. Adding 
$4000 will make the returns from the farm 
$15,118, leaving fl8,276 to add to the interest- 
bearing debt. Last year this debt was $84,404. 
Add this year's deficit, and we have $102,680. 
A good deal of money, Polly, but I showed you 
well over $100,000 in assets, — at our own price, 
to be sure, but not far wrong." 

« Will you ever have to increase the debt ? " 
« I think not. I believe we shall reduce it a 
little next year, and each year thereafter. But, 
supposing it ohly pays expenses, how can you 
put on as much style on the interest of $100,000 
anywhere else as you can here? It can't be 
done. When the fruit comes in and this factory 
is running full time, it will earn well on toward 
§25,000 a year, and it will not cost over $14,000 to 
run it, interest and all. It won't take long at that 
rate to wipe out the interest-bearing debt. You'll 
be rich, Polly, before you're ten years older." 

« You are rich now, in imagination and expec- 
tation, Mr. Headman, but I'll bank with you 
for a while longer. But what's the use of charg- 
ing the farm with interest when you credit it 
with our keeping ? " 

« There isn't much reason in that, Polly. It's 
about as broad as it is long. I simply like to 
keep books in that way. We charge the farm 
with a little more than $4000 interest, and we 
credit it with just $4000 for our food and shelter. 
We'll keep on in this way because I like it." 



CHAPTER LIII 



THE MILK MACHINE 

In opening the year 1898 I was faced by a 
larger business proposition than I had originally 
planned. When I undertook tlie experiment of 
a factory farm, I placed the limit of capital to 
be invested at about $60,000. Now I found that 
I had exceeded that amount by a good many 
thousand dollars, and 1 knew that the end was 
not yet. The factory was not complete, and it 
would be several years before it would be at its 
best in output. While it had cost me more than 
was originally contemplated, and while there was 
yet more money to be spent, there was still no 
reason for discouragement. Indeed, I felt so 
certain of ultimate profits that I was ready to 
put as much into it as could possibly be used 
to advantage. 

The original plan was for a soiling farm on 
which I could milk thirty cows, fatten two hun- 
dred hogs, feed a thousand hens, and wait for 
thirty-five hundred fruit trees to come to a profit- 
able age. With this in view, I set apart forty 
acres of high, dry land, for the feeding-grounds, 
twenty acres of which was devoted to the cows ; 
and I now found that this twenty-acre lot would 

317 



318 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



i:-| i; 





'^1 ■' 



provide an ample exercise field for twice that 
number. It was in grass (timothy, red-top, and 
blue grass), and the cows nibbled persistently 
during the short hours each day when they were 
permitted to be on it ; but it was never reckoned 
as part of their ration. The sod was kept in 
good condition and the field free from weeds, by 
the use of the mowing-machine, set high, every 
ten or twenty days, according to the season. 
Following the mower, we use a spring-tooth rake 
which bunched ^he weeds and gathered or broke 
up the droppings ; and everything the rake caught 
was carted to the manure vats. Our big Hol- 
steins do not suffer from close quarters, so far 
as I am able to judge, neither do they take on 
fat. From thirty minutes to three hours (de- 
pending on the weather), is all the outing they 
get each day ; but this seems sufficient for their 
needs. The well-ventilated stable with its mod- 
erate temperature suits the sedentary nature of 
these milk machines, and I am satisfied with the 
results. I cannot, of course, speak with authority 
of the comparative merits of soiling versus graz- 
ing, for I have had no experience in the latter ; 
but in theory soiling appeals to me, and in prac- 
tice it satisfies me. 

When I found I could keep more cows on the 
land set apart for them, I built another cow 
stable for the dry cows and the heifers, and 
added four stalls to my milk stable by turning 
each of the hospital wards into two stalls. 



THE MILK MACHINE 319 

The ten heifers which I reserved in the spring 
of 1896 were now nearly two years old. They 
were expected to "come in " in the early autumn, 
when they would supplement the older herd.' 
The cows purchased in 1895 were now five years 
old, and quite equal to the large demand which 
we made upon them. They had grown to be 
enormous creatures, from thirteen hundred to 
fourteen hundred pounds in weight, and they were 
proving their excellence as milk producers by 
yielding an average of forty pounds a day. We 
had, and still have, one remarkable milker, who 
thinks nothing of yielding seventy pounds when 
fresh, and who doesn't fall below twenty-five 
pounds when we are forced to dry her off. I 
have no doubt that she would be a successful 
candidate for advanced registration if we put 
her to the test. For ten months in each year 
these cows give such quantities of milk as would 
surprise a man not acquainted with this noble 
Dutch family. My five common cows were good 
of their kind, but they were not in the class with 
the Holsteins. They were not « robber " cows, 
for they fully earned their food ; but there was 
no great profit in them. To be sure, they did 
not eat more than two-thirds as much as the 
Holsteins ; but that fact did not stand to their 
credit, for the basic principle of factory farming 
is to consume as much raw material as possible 
and to turn out its equivalent in finished product. 
The common cows consumed only two-thirds as 



320 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



*ii! 




much raw material as the Holsteins, and turned 
out rather less than two-thirds of their product, 
while they occupied an equal amount of floor 
space; consequently they had to give place to 
more competent machines. They were to be 
sold during the season. 

Why dairymen can be found who will pay 
$50 apiece for cows like those I had for sale 
(better, indeed, than the average;, is beyond my 
method of reqkoning values. Twice 850 will 
buy a young cow l-.-d for milk, and she would 
prove both bread ai '^ milk to the purchaser in 
most cases. The question of food should settle 
itself for the dairyman as it does for the factory 
farmer. The more food consumed, the better for 
each, if the ratio of milk be the same. 

My Holsteins are great feeders ; more than 2 
tons of grain, 2J tons of hay, and 4 or 5 tons of 
com fodder, in addition to a ton of roots or suc- 
culent vegetables, pass through their great mouths 
each year. The hay is nearly equally divided be- 
tween timothy, oat hay, and alfalfa; and when I 
began to figure the gross amount that would be 
required for my 50 Holstein gourmands, I saw 
that the widow's farm had been purchased none 
too quickly. To provide 100 tons of grain, 125 tons 
of hay, and 200 or 800 tons of corn fodder for the 
cows alone, was no slight matter; but I felt pre- 
pared to furnish this amount of raw material to 
be transmuted into golden butter. The Four 
Oaks butter had made a wod reputation, and 






THE MILK MACHINE 321 

the four oak leaves stamped on each mould was 
a sufficient guarantee of excellence. My city 
grocer urged a larger product, and I felt saio in 
promising it ; at the same time, I held him up 
for a slight advance in price. Heretofore it had 
netted me 32 cents a pound, but from January 1, 
1898, I was to have 33^ cents for each pound 
delivered at the station at Exeter, I agreeing to 
furnish at least 50 pounds a Jay, six days in a 
week. 

This was not always easily done during the 
first eight months of that year, and I will con- 
fess to buying 640 pounds to eke out the supply 
for the colony ; but after the young heifers came 
m, there was no trouble, and the purchased 
butter was more than made up to our local 
grocer. 

It will be more satisfactory to deal with dairy 
matters in lump sums from now on. The con- 
tract with the city grocer still holds, and, though 
he often urges me to increase my herd, I still 
limit the supply to 300 pounds a week, — some- 
times a little more, but rarely less. I believe 
that 38 to 44 cows in full flow of milk will 
make the best balance in my factory; and a 
well-balanced factory is what I am after. 

I am told that animals are not machines, and 
that they cannot be run as such. My animals 
are ; and I run them as I would a shop. There 
is no sentiment in my management. If a cow 
or a hog o- a hen doesn't work in a satisfactory 



322 



THE FAT OP THE LAIID 



f I 



h in 

■■ I iit; 

.;.: i 'it; 

■ - * I 



way, it ceases to occupy space in my shop, just 
as would an imperfect wheel. The utmost kind- 
ness is shown to all animals at Four Oaks. This 
rule is the most imperative one on the place, 
and the one in which no "extenuating circum- 
stances " are taken into account. There are two 
equal reasons for this : the first is a deep-rooted 
aversion to cruelty in all forms ; and the second is, 
it pays. But kindness to animals doesn't imply 
the necessity of keeping useless ones or those 
whose usefulness is below one's standard. If a 
man will use the intelligence and attention to 
detail in the managem.ent of stock that is neces- 
sary to the successful running of a complicated 
machine, he will find that his stock doesn't differ 
greatly from his machine. The trouble with most 
farmers is that they think the living machine can 
be neglected with impunity, because it will not 
immediately destroy itself or others, and because 
it is capable of a certain amount of self-main- 
tenance ; while the dead machine has no power 
of self-support, and must receive careful and 
punctual attention to prevent injury to itself 
and to other property. If a dairyman Arill feed 
his cows as a thresher feeds the cylinder of his 
threshing-machine, he will find that the milk 
will flow from the one about as steadily as the 
grain falls from the other. 

Intensive factory farming means the use of the 
best machines pushed to the limit of their capac- 
ity through the period of their greatest useful- 



H 



a *: 



THE MILK MACHINE 



323 



ness, and then replaced by others. Pushing to 
the limit of capacity is in no sense cruelty. It is 
predicated on the perfect health of the animal, 
for without perfect condition, neither machine 
nor animal can do its best work. It is simply 
encouraging to a high degree the special function 
for which generations of careful breeding have 
fitted the animal. 

That there is gratification in giving milk, no 
well-bred cow or mother will deny. It is a 
joyous function to eat large quantities of pleas- 
ant food and turn it into milk. Heredity impels 
the cow to do this, and it would take generations 
of wild life to wean her from it. As well say 
that the cataleptic trance of the pointer, when 
the game bird lies close and the delicate scent 
fills his nostrils, is not a joy to him, or that the 
Dalmatian at the heels of his horse, or the fox- 
hound when Reynard's trail is warm, receive no 
pleasure from their specialties. 

Do these animals feel no joy in the perform- 
ance of service which is bred into their bones 
and which it is unnatural or freakish for them 
to lack ? No one who has watched the " bred- 
for-milk " cow can doubt that the joys of her life 
are eating, drinking, sleeping, and giving milk. 
Pushing her to the lim't of her capacity is only 
intensifying her life, though, possibly, it may 
shorten it by a year or two. While she lives 
she knows all the happiness of cow life, and 
knows it to the full. What more can she ask ? 



324 



THE FAT OF THE i.aND 




She would starve on the buffalo grass which 
supports her half-wild sister, " northers " would 
freeze her, and the snow would bury her. She 
is a product of high cow-civilization, and as such 
she must have the intelligent care of man or she 
cannot do her best. With this care she is a mar- 
vellous machine for the making of tl n only article 
of food which in itself is competent to support 
life in man. If my Holsteins are not machines, 
they resemble them so closely that I will not 
quarrel with the, name. 

What is true of the cow, is true also of the 
pork-making machine that we call the hog. His 
wild and savage progenitor is lost, and we have 
in his place a sluggish animal that is a very 
model as a food producer. His three pleasures 
are eating, sleeping, and growing fat. He fol- 
lows these pleasures with such persistence that 
250 days are enough to perfect him. It can cer- 
tainly be no hardship to a pig to encourage him 
in a life of sloth and gluttony which appeals to 
his taste and to my profit. 

Custom and interest make his life ephemeral ; 
I make it comfortable. From the day of his 
birth until we separate, I take watchful care of 
liim. During infancy he is protected from cold 
and wet, and his mother is coddled by the most 
nourishing foods, that she may not fail in her 
duty to him. During childhood he is provided 
with a warm house, a clean bed, and a yard in 
which to disport himself, and is fed for growth 



THE MILK MACHINE 325 

^'iif^^n"" ^!'!™-™"k, oatmeal, and sweet 

S ?\ u"""/ ^'^ ^°""'' *=""> "'«'l is liberally 
added to his diet, also other dainties which he 
enjoys and makes much of ; and during his whole 
life he has access to clean water, and to the only 
medicme which a pig needs, _ a mixture of ashes, 
charcoal, salt, and sulphur. 

When he has spent 250 happy days with me, 
we part company with feelings of mutual respect 
-he to finish his n-ission, I to provide for his 
successor. 

_ My early plan was to turn off 200 of this fin- 
ished product each year, but I soon found that I 
could do much better. One can raise a crop of 
hogs nearly as quickly as a crop of corn, and 
witn much more profit, if the food be at hand 
There was likely to be an abundance of food 
I was more willing to sell it in pig skins than 
in any other packages. My plan was now to 
turn off, not 200 hogs each year, but 600 or more 
I had 60 well-bred sows, young and old, and I 
could count on them to farrow at least three 
times m two years. The litters ought to average 
T each, say 22 pigs in two years ; 60 times 22 are 
1320, and half of 1320 is 660. Yes, at that rate, 
I could count on about 600 finished hogs to sell 
each year. But if my calculations were too high 
1 could easily keep 10 more brood sows, for I 
had sufficient room to keep them healthy 

The two five-acre lots, Nos. 3 and 5, had been 
given over to the brood sows when they were 



iii 



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ri 1 


L# 




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326 



THE FAX OF THE LAXD 



not caring for young litt<-Ts in the brood-house. 
Comfortable shelters ana a cemented basin twelve 
feet by twelve, and one foot deep, had been built 
in each lot. The water-pipe that ran through 
the chicken lot (No. 4) connected with these 
basins, as did also a drain-pipe to the drain in 
the north lane, so that it was easy to turn on 
fresh water and to draw o9 that which was soiled. 
Through this device my brood sows had access 
to a water bath eight inches deep, whenever 
they were in the fields. My hogs, young or old, 
have never been permitted to wallow in mud. 
We have no mud-holes at Four Oaks to grow 
stale and breed disease. The breeding hogs have 
exercise lots and baths, but the young growing 
and fattening stock have neither. They are kept 
in runs twenty feet by one hundred, in bunches 
of from twenty to forty, according to age, from 
the time they are weaned until they leave the 
place for good. This plan, which I did not in- 
tend to change, opened a question in my mind 
that gave me pause. It was this : Can I hope, 
even with the utmost care, to keep the hou^ for 
growing and fattening swine free ^-om disease if 
I keep it constantly full of swine V 

The more I thought about it the less probable 
it appeared. The pig-house had cost me 14320. 
Another would cost as much, if not more, and I 
did not like to go to the expense unless it were 
necessary. I worked over this problem for sev- 
eral days, and finally came to the conclusion that 



THE MILK MACHINE 



327 



I should never feel easy about my swine until I 
had two houses for them, besides the brood-house 
for the sows. I therefore gave the order to Nel- 
son to build another swine-bouse as soon as 
spring opened. My plan was, and I carried it 
out, to move all the colonies every three months, 
and to have the vacant house thoroughly cleaned, 
sprayed with a powerful germicide, and white- 
washed. The runs were to be turned over, when 
the weather would permit, and the ground sown 
to oats or rye. 

The new house was finished in June, and the 
pigs were moved into it on July 1st with a lease 
of three months. My mind has been easy on the 
question of the health of my hogs ever since ; 
and with reason, for there has been no epizootic 
or o ' 'jr serious form of disease in my piggery, 
in P'u.e of the fact that there are often more than 
1200 pigs of all degrees crowded into this five-acre 
lot. The two pig-houses and the brood-house, with 
their runs, cover the whole of the lot, except the 
broad street of sixty feet just inside my high 
quarantine fence, which encloses the whole of it. 



1 i 



ji 



CHAPTER LIV 




I 1 




li M 



BACON AMD KOOS 

Each hog turned out from my piggery weigh- 
ing 270 pounds or more, has eaten of my sub- 
stance not le^ than 600 ; ounds of grain, 250 
pounds of chopped alfalfa, 250 pounds of roots or 
vegetables, and su'-h mntilies of skimmed milk 
and swill as havfi iiAlea to his share. I could 
reckon the approximate cost of these foods, but 
I will not do so. All but the middlings and oil 
meal come fiom the farm and are paid for by 
certain fixed charges heretofore mentioned. The 
middlings and oil meal are charged in the « food 
for animals " account at the rate of 91 a year for 
each finished hog. 

The truth is that a large part of the food 
which enters into the making of each 800 pounds 
of live pork, is of slow sale, and that for some 
of it < here is no sale at all, — for instance, house 
swill, dish-water, butter-washings, garden weeds, 
lawn clippings, and all sorts of coarse vegetables. 
A hog makes half his growth out of refuse which 
has no value, or not sufficient to warrant the 
effort and expense of selling it. He has unequalled 
facilities for turning non-negotiable scrip into 

3^8 



BACON AND EGOS 



329 



convertible bonds, and he is the greatest money- 
maker on the farm. If the grain ration were all 
corn, and if there were a roadside marltet for it 
at 86 cents a bushel, it wouM cost «8.12; the 
alfalfa would be worth *1.45, and the vegetables 
probably 65 cents, under like conditions, making 
a total of f.5.22 as a possible gross value of the 
food whicii the hog has euten. The gross value 
of these things, however, is far above their net 
value when one considers time and expense of 
sale. The hog saves all this trouble by tucking 
under his skin slow-selling remnants of farm prod- 
ucts and making of them finished assets which 
can be turned into cash at a day's notice. 

To feed the hogs on the scale now planned, I 
had to provide for something like 7000 bushels 
of grain, chiefly corn and oats, 100 tons of 
alfalfa, and an equal amount of vegetables, chiefly 
sugar beets and mangel-wurzel. Certainly the 
widow's land would be needed. 

The poultry had also outgrown my original 
plans, and I had built with reference to my larger 
views. There were five houses on the poultry 
lot, each 200 feet long, and each divided into ten 
equal pens. Four of these houses were for the 
laying hens, which were divided into flocks of 
40 each; while the other house was for the 
growing chickens and for cockerels being fattened 
for market 

There were now on hand more than 1800 
pullets and hens, and I instructed Sam to run 



330 



THE FAT OF THE LAIID 



) I 



fmm^ 






ill fi 

Mr' 

rii! ^i 

all i' 



4 " 



his incubator overtime that season, so as to fill 
our houses bj autumn. I should need 800 or 
900 pullets to make our quota good, for most of 
the older hens would have to be disposed of in 
the autumn, — all but about 200, which would 
be kept until the following spring to breed from. 

I believe that a three-year-old hen that has 
shown the egg habit is the best fowl to breed 
from, and it is the custom at Four Oaks to re- 
serve specially good pens for this purpose. The 
egg habit is unquestionably as much a matter of 
heredity as the milk or the fat producing habit, 
n i should be as carefully cultivated. With this 
t !i J in view, Sam added young cockerels to four 
01 his best-producing flocks on January 1, and by 
the 15th he was able to start his incubators. 

Breeding and feeding for eggs is on the same 
principle as feeding and breeding for milk. It 
is no more natural for a hen to lay eggs for 
human consumption than it is for the robin to do 
so, or for the cow to give more milk than is suffi- 
cient for her calf. Man's necessity has made 
demands upon both cow and hen, and man's in- 
telligence has converted individualists into social- 
ists in both of these races. They no longer live 
for themselves alone. As the cow, under favor- 
able conditions, finds pleasure in giving milk, so 
does the hen under like conditions take delight 
in giving eggs, — else why the joyous cackle when 
leaving her nest after doing her full duty ? She 
floats over it, whl/X glorieii in it, ^qd announqes 



BACON AND EGOS 



331 



her satisfaction to the whole yard. It is some- 
thing to be proud of, and the cackling hen knows 
it better than you or I. It can be no hardship 
to push this egg machine to the limit of its 
capacity. It adds new zest to the life of the hen, 
and multiplies her opportunities for well-earned 
self-congratulation. 

Our hens are fed for eggs, and we get what we 
feed for. I said of my hens that I would not 
ask them to lay more than eight dozen eggs each 
year, and I will stick to what I said. But I do 
not reject voluntary contributions beyond this 
number. Indeed, I accept them wil } thanks, and 
give Biddy a word of commendation for her 
gratuity. Eight dozen eggs a year will pay a good 
profit, but if each of my hens wishes to present 
me with two dozen more, I slip 62 cents into my 
pocket and say, " I am very much obliged to you, 
miss," or madam, as the case may be. Most of 
my hens do remember me in this substantial way, 
and the White Wyandottes are in great favor 
with the Headman. 

The houses in which my hens live are almost 
as clean as the one I inhabit (and Polly is tidy 
to a degree) ; their food is as carefully prepared 
as mine, and more punctually served ; their ene- 
mies are fended off, and they are never fright- 
ened by dogs or other animals, for the five-acre 
lot on which their houses and runs are built is 
enclosed by a substantial fence that prevents any 
interloping ; book agents never disturb theiy 




832 THE FAT OF THE LAND 

siestas, nor do tree men make their lives hideous 
with lithographs of impossible fruit on improbable 
trees. Whether I am indebted to one or to all 
of these conditions for my full egg baskets, I am 
unable to say ; but I do not purpose to make any 
change, for my egg baskets are as full as a 
reasonable man could wish. As nearly as I can 
estimate, my hens give thirty per cent egg re- 
turns as a yearly average _ about 120 eggs for 
each hen in 365 days. This is more than I ask 
of them, but I do not refuse their generosity. 

Every egg is worth, in my market, 2J cents, 
which means that the yearly product of each 
hen could be sold for 18. Something more than 
two thousand dozen are consumed by the home 
colony or the incubators ; the rest find their way 
to the city in clean cartons of one dozen each, 
with a stencil of Four Oaks and a guarantee that 
they are not twenty-four hours old when they 
reach the middleman. 

In return for this $3 a year, what do I give 
my hens besides a clean houpe and yard ? A con- 
stant supply of fresh water, sharp grits, oyster 
shells, and a bath of road dust and sifted ashes, to 
which is added a pinch of insect powder. Twice 
each day five pounds of fresh skim-milk is given 
to each flock of forty. In the morning they 
have a warm mash composed of (for 1600 hens) 
60 pounds of alfalfa hay cut fine and soaked all 
night in hot water, 60 pounds of corn meal, 60 
pounds of oat meal, 60 pounds of bran, and 20 



H 



BACON AND EGGS 333 

pounds of cither meat meal or cotton-seed meal 
At noon they get 100 pounds of mixed grains _ 
wheat and buckwheat usually _ with some green 
vegetables to pick at; and at night 125 to ISO 
pounds of whole corn. There are variations of 
this diet from time to time, but no radical change 
I have read much of a balanced ration, but I 
fancy a hen will balance her own ration if you 
give her the chance. 

Milk is one of the most important items on 
this bill of fare, and all hens love it. It should 
be fed entirely fresh, and the crocks or earthen 
dishes from which it is eaten should be thoroughly 
cleansed each day. Four ounces for each hen is 
a good daily ration, and we divide this into two 
feedings. 

Our 1600 hens eat about 75 tons of grain a 
year. Add to this the 100 tons which 50 cows 
will require, 200 tons for the swine, and 25 tons 
for the horses, and we have 400 tons of grain to 
provide for the stock on the factory farm 
Nearly a fourth of this, in the shape of bran, 
gluten meal, oil meal, and meat meal, must be 
purchased, for we have no way of producing it 
For the other 800 tons we must look to the land 
or to a low market. Three hundred tons of 
mixed grains means something like 13,000 bushels, 
and I cannot hope to raise this amount from' 
my land at present. 

Fortunately the grain market was to my liking 
m January of 1898 ; and though there were still 



I 



334 



THE FAT 01'" THE LAND 



■/ 1 





more than 7000 bushels in my granary, I pur- 
chased 5000 bushels of corn and as much oats 
against a higher market. The corn cost 27 cents 
a bushel and the oats 22, delivered at Exeter, 
the 10,000 bushels amounting to $2450, to be 
charged to the farm account. 

I was now prepared to face the food problem, 
for I had more than 17,000 bushels of grain to 
supplement the amount the farm would produce, 
and to tide me along until cheap grain should 
come again, pr until my land shoui-J produce 
enough for my needs. The supply in hand plus 
that which I could reasonably expect to raise, 
would certainly provide for three years to come, 
and this is farther than the average farmer looks 
into the future. But I claim to be more enter- 
prising than an average farmer, and determined 
to keep my eyes open and to take advantage of 
any favorable opportunity to strengthen my 

position. 

In the meantime it was necessary to force my 
trees, and to secure more help for the farm 
work. To push fruit trees to the limit of healthy 
growth is practical and wise. They can accom- 
plish as much in growth and development in 
three years, when judiciously stimulated, as in 
five or six years of the " lick-and-a-promise " kind 
of care which they usually receive. 

A tree must be fed first for growth and after- 
ward for fruit, just as a pig is managed, if one 
wishes quick retviTOs, To plaut » tree and leave 



BACON AND EGGS 



it to the tenderness of nature, with only occa- 
sional attention, is to make the heart sick, for it 
is certain to prove a case of hope deferred. In 
the fulness of time the tree and "happy-go- 
lucky " nature will prove themselves equal to the 
development of fruit; but they will be slow in 
doing it. It is quite as well for the tree, and 
greatly to the advantage of the horticulturist, to 
cut two or three years out of this unprofitable 
time. All that is necessary to accomplish this 
is : to keep the ground loose for a space around 
the tree somewhat larger than the spread of its 
branches ; to apply fertilizers rich in nitrogen ; to 
keep the whole of the cultivated space mulched 
with good barn-yard manure, increasing the thick- 
ness of the mulch with coarse stuff in the fall, so 
as to lengthen the season of root activity ; and to 
draw the mulch aside about St. Patrick's Day, 
that the sun's rays may warm the earth as early 
as possible. Moderate pruning, nipping back of 
exuberant branches, and two sprayings of the 
foliage with Bordeaux mixture, to keep fungus 
enemies in check, comprise all the care required 
by the growing tree. This treatment will con- 
dense the ordinary growth of five years into 
three, and the tree will be all the better for the 
forcing. 

As soon as fruit spurs and buds begin to show 
themselves, the treatment should be modified, 
but not remitted. Less nitrogen and more 
phosphoric acid and potash are to be used, and 



I 



336 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 




the mulch should not be removed in the early 
spring. The objects now are, to stimulate the 
fruit buds and to retard activity in the roots 
until the danger from late frosts is past. As a 
result of this kind of treatment, many varieties 
of apple trees will give moderate crops when the 
roots are seven, and the trunks are six years old. 
Fruit buds showed in abundance on many of my 
trees in the fall of 1897, especially on the Duch- 
ess and the Yellow Transparent, and I looked 
for a small apple harvest that year. 



IV 



CHAPTER LV 



THE OLD TIME FARM-HAND 

With all my industries thus increasing, the 
necessity for more help became imperative. 
French and Judson had their hands more than 
full in the dairy barns, and had to be helped out 
by Thompson. Anderson could not give the 
swine all the attention they needed, and was 
assisted by Otto, who proved an excellent swine- 
herd. Sam had the aid of Lars's boys with the 
poultry, and very efficient aid it was, consider- 
ing the time they could give to it. They had to 
_ be off with the market wagon at 7.40, and did 
not return from school until 4 p.m. Lars was 
busy in the carriage bam ; and though we spared 
him as much as possible from driving, he had to 
be helped out by Johnson at such times as the 
latter could spare from his greenhouse and hot- 
beds. Zeb took care of the farm teams ; but the 
winter's work of distributing forage and grain, 
getting up wood and ice, hauling manure, and so 
forth, had to be done in a desultory and irregu- 
lar manner. The spring work would find us 
wofully behindhand if I did not look sharp. 
I had been looking sharp since January set in, 

■ 837 



338 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



and had experienced, for the first time, real dif- 
ficulties in finding anything like good help. 
Hitherto I had been especially fortunate in this 
regard. I had met some reverses, but in the 
main good luck had followed me. I had nine 
good men who seemed contented and who were 
all saving money, — an excellent sign of stability 
and contentment. Even Lars had not fallen 
from grace but once, and that could hardly be 
charged against him, for Jack and Jarvis had 
tempted him 'beyond resistance ; while Sam's 
nose was quite blanched, and he was to all 
appearances firmly seated on the water wagon. 
Really, I did not know what labor troubles 
meant until 1898, but since then I have not had 
clear sailing. 

From my previous experience with working- 
men, I had formed the opinion that they were 
reasoning and reasonable human beings, — with 
peculiarities, of course ; and that as a class they 
were ready to give good service for fair wages 
and decent treatment. In early life I had been 
a working-man myself, and I thought I could 
understand the feelings and sympathize with the 
trials of the laborer from the standpoint of per- 
sonal experience. I was sorely mistaken. The 
laboring man of to-day is a different proposition 
from the man who did manual labor « before the 
war." That he is more intelligent, more provi- 
dent, happier, or better in any way, I sincerely 
doubt ; that he is restless, dissatisfied, and less 



THE OLD TIME FABM-HAND 339 

efficient, I believe ; that he is unreasonable in 
his demands and regardless of the interests of 
his employer, I know. There are many shining 
exceptions, and to these I look for the ultimate 
regeneration of labor ; but the rule holds true. 

I do not believe that the principles of life 
have changed in forty years. I do not believe 
that an intelligent, able-bodied man need be a 
servant all his life, or that industry and economy 
miss their rewards, or that there is any truth in 
the theory that men cannot rise out of the rut 
in which they happen to find themselves. The 
trouble is with the man, not with the rut. He 
spends his time in wallowing rather than in 
diligently searching for an outlet or in honestly 
working his way up to it. Heredity and en- 
vironment are heavy weights, but industry and 
sobriety can carry off heavier ones. I have 
sympathy for weakness of body or mind, and 
patience for those over whom inheritance has 
cast a baleful spell ; but I have neither patience 
nor sympathy for a strong man who rails at his 
condition and makes no determined effort to 
better it. 

The ti, and money wasted in strikes, agita- 
tions, and ,. rbitrations, if put to practical use, 
would better the working-man enough faster 
than these futile efforts do. I have no quarrel 
with unions or combinations of labor, so far as 
they have the true interests of labor for an 
object ; but I do quarrel with the spirit of mob 



340 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



"tit 



:l !■ 



{5 



f1 



rule and the evidences of conspicuous waste, 
which have grown so rampant as to overshadow 
the helpful hand and to threaten, not the stabil- 
ity of society — for in the background I see six 
million conservative sons of the soil who will 
look to the stability of things when the time 
comes — but the unions themselves. 

I remember my first summer on a farm. It 
lasted from the first day of April to the thirty- 
first day of October, and on the evening of that 
day I carried to my father 128, the full wage for 
seven months. I could not have spent one cent 
during that time, for I carried the whole sum 
home ; but I do not remember that I was con- 
scious of any want. The hours on the farm 
were not short ; an eight-hour day would have 
been considered but a half-day. We worked 
from sun to sun, and I grew and knew no sor- 
row or oppression. The next year I received 
the munificent wage of $6 a month, and the 
following year, 18. 

In after years, in brick-yards, sawmills, lum- 
ber woods, or harvest fields, there was no arbi- 
trary limit put upon the amount of work to be 
done. If I chose to do the work of a man and 
a half, I got $1.50 for doing it, and it would 
have been a bold and sturdy delegate who tried 
to hold me from it. I fait no need of help from 
outside. I was fit to care for myself, and I 
minded not the long hours, the hard work, or 
the hard bed. This life was preliminary to a 



THE OLD TIME FARM-HAND 341 

fuller one, and it served its use. I know wh.it 
tired legs and back mean, and I know that one 
need not have tliem always if he will use the 
ordinary sense which God gives. Genius, or 
special cleverness, is not necessary to get a man 
out of the rut of hard manual labor. Just plain 
everyday sense will do. But before I l,ad se- 
cured the three men for w],om I was in search, 
I began to feel that this common sense of which 
we speak so glibly is a rare commodity under 
the working-man's l,at. I advertised, sent to 
agencies and intelligence offices, inters iewed and 
inspected, consulted friends and enemies, and so 
generally harrowed my life that I was fit t„ give 
up the whole business and retire into a cave. 

By actual count, I saw more tlian one hundred 
men, of all ages, sizes, and colors. Eight of these 
were tried, of whom five were found wanting 
Early in February I had settled upon three sober 
men to add to our colony. As none of these 
lasted the year out, I may be forgiven for not 
introducing them to the reader. They served 
their purpose, and mine too, and then drifted on 



P 



CHAPTER LVI 



m. 



^;i f 




THB STKDIOATB 

I SO not wish to take credit for things which 
gave me pleasure in the doing, or to appear altru- 
istic in my dealings with the people employed at 
Four Oaks. I tell of our business and other re- 
lations because they are details of farm history 
and rightfully belong to these pages. If I dealt 
fairly by my men and established relations of 
mutual confidence and dependence, it was not 
in the hope that my ways might be approved 
and commended, but because it paid, in more 
ways tiian one. I wanted my men to have a 
lively interest in the things which were of im- 
portance to me, that their efforts might be intel- 
ligent and direct ; and I was glad to enter into 
their schemes, either for pleasure or for profit, 
with such aid as I could give. Cordial under- 
standing between employee and employer puts 
life into the contract, and disposes of perfunctory 
service, which simply recognizes a definite deed 
for a definite compensation. Uninterested labor 
leaves a load of hay in the field to be injured, 
just because the hour for quitting has come, 
8U 



THE 8YKDICATB Ms 

while IntenMted labor hurries the hay into the 
half-hour W.1I be a,ade up to it in «,n,e othe" 

It pays the farmer to take his help into a kind 
of partnership, not always in his farm, but always 

w«i'fin°r u?"""- '^^' '" ^^y ™y ferm-houL 
Z2J -''h' P*Pe« and magazines of interest 
to the men ; that is why I spent many an even- 
mgwith them talking over our indusfries, that 

I /ir^"^ *" *"«*" ^°' them wken I 
found that M„. French, the dairymaid, could 

f^y °";" '\^' •« ^hy I talked econ;my to 
them and urged them to place some part of Lh 
months wage m the Exeter Savings Bank; and 
hat .s why, early in 1898, I formulated a plan 
for investing their wages at a more profitable rate 

mentor?- ::"^'^ '*"=" °"« '° «^^« «»« * «"«'«- 

ment of his or her savings up to date. They were 
qu.te wi ling to do this, and I found that iTe^. 

•2680. Anderson, who saved most of his wages, 
had an account m a city savings bank, and did 
not^jom us m our syndicate, though he approved 

The money was made up of sums varying from 
•90, Lena's savings, to W60 owned by Judson. the 
tuT K*"" n^^ P^P^sition was this : Pool the 

stock, and hold it for one or two yeara. The 
mterest would be twice as much as thTy w7re 



I 



I 



P '' I 



n 



344 THE FAT OF THE LAND 

getting from the bank, while the prospect of a 
decided advance was good. I said to them : — 

<a have owned Chicago, Rock Island, and 
Pacific stock for more than three years. I com- 
menced to buy at fifty-seven, and I am still buy- 
ing, when I can get hold of a little money that 
doesn't have vo go into this blessed farm. It is 
now eighty-one, and it will go higher. I am so 
sure of this that I will agree to take the stock 
from each or all of you at the price you pay for it 
at any time during the next two years. There is 
no risk in this' proposition to you, and there may 
be a very handsome return." 

They were pleased with the plan, and we 
formed a pool to buy thirty shares of stock. 
Thompson and I were trustees, and the certih- 
cate stood in our names; but each contributor 
received a pro-rata interest ; Lena, one thirtieth ; 
Judson, five-thirtieths; and the others between 
these extremes. The stock was bought at eighty- 
two I may as well explain now how it came 
out, for I am not proud of my acumen at the 
finish A little more than a year later the stock 
reached 122, and I advised the syndicate to sell. 
They were all pleased at the time with the hand- 
some profit they had made, but I suspect they 
have often figured what they might have made 
«if the boss hadn't been such a chump," for we 
have seen the stock go above two hundred. 

This was not the only enterprise in which our 
colony took a small share. The people at Four 






THE SYNDICATE 



840 



Oaks are now content to hold shares in one of 
the great trusts, which they bought several points 
below par, and which pay IJ per cent every 
three months. Even Lena, who held only one 
share of the C, R. I., & P. five years ago, has 
so increased her income-bearing property that 
she is now looked upon as a "catch" by her 
acquaintances. If I am correctly informed, she 
has an annual income of $105, independent of 
her wages. 



■'( , i 



CHAPTER LVII 



■ *) 



I ill' 



n 



THE DEATH OF SIB TOM 

At 7.80 on the morning of March 16, Dr. 
High telephoned me that Sir Thomas O'Hara 
was seriously ill, and asked me to come at once. 
It took but a few minutes to have Jerry at the 
door, and, breasting a cold, thin rain at a sharp 
gallop, I was at my friend's door before the 
clock struck eight. Dr. High met me with a 
heavy face. 

"Sir Tom is bad," said he, "with double 
pneumonia, and I am awfully afraid it will go 
hard with him." 

I remembered that my friend's pale face had 
looked a shade paler than usual the evening be- 
fo'e, and that there had been a pinched expres- 
sion around the nose and mouth, as if from pain ; 
but Sir Tom had many twinges from his old 
enemy, gout, which he did not care to discuss, 
and T took little note of his lack of fitness. He 
touched the brandy bottle a little oftener than 
usual, and left for home earlier; but his voice 
was as cheery as ever, and we thought only of 
gout. He was taken with a hard chill on his 
way home, which lasted for some time after he 



THE DEATH OF SIB TOM 



347 



was put to bed ; but he would not listen to the 
requests of William and the faithful cook that 
the doctor be summoned. At last he fell into 
a heavy sleep from which it was hard to rouse 
him, and the servants followed their own desire 
and called Dr. High. He came as promptly as 
possible, and did all that could be done for the 
sick man. 

A hurried examination convinced me that Dr. 
High's opinion of the gravity of the case was 
correct, and we telephoned at once for a spe- 
cialist from the city, and for a trained nurse. 
After a short consultation with Dr. High I 
reentered my friend's room, and I fear that my 
face gave me away, for Sir Tom said : 

"Be a man, Williams, and tell the whole of 
it." 

" My dear old man, this is a tough proposition, 
but you must buck up and make a game fight. 
We have sent for Dr. Jones and a nurse, and we 
will pull you through, sure." 

" You will try, for sure, but I reckon the call 
has come for me to cash in me checks. Wh«i 
that little devil Frost hit me right and left in 
me chest last night, I could see me finish ; and 
I heard the banshee in me sleep, and that means 
much to a Sligo man." 

« Not to this Sligo man, I hope," said I, thougb 
I knew that we were in deep waters. 

The wise man and the nurse came out on the 
10.30 train, the nurse bringing comfort and aid, 



348 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 




•» 






M'~: 



but the physician neither. After thoroughly 
examining the patient, he simply confirmed our 
fears. 

» Serious disease to overcome, and only scant 
vital forces; no reasonable ground for hope." 

Sir Tom gave me a smile as I entered the 
room after parting from the specialist. 

"I've discounted the verdict," said he, "and 
the foreman needn't draw such a long face. I've 
had my fling, like a true Irishman, and I'm ready 
to pay the bill. I won't have to come back for 
anything, Williams ; there's nothing due me ; but 
I must look sharp for William and the old girl 
in the kitchen, — faithful souls, — for they will 
be strangers in a strange land. Will you send 
for a lawyer ? " 

The lawyer came, and a codicil to Sir Thomas's 
will made the servants comfortable for life. All 
that day and the following night we hung around 
the sick bed, hoping for the favorable change that 
never came. On the morning of the 17th it was 
evident that he would not live to see the sun go 
down. We had kept all friends away from the 
sick chamber ; but now, at his request, Polly, 
Jane, and Laura were summoned, and they came, 
with blanched faces and tearful eyes, to kiss the 
brow and hold the hands of this dear man. He 
smiled with contentment on the group, and 
said : — 

"Me friends have made such a heaven of this 
earth that perhaps I have had me full share." 



THE DEATH OF SIR TOM 



349 



•' Sir Tom," said I, " shall I send for a priest ? " 
"A priest! What could I do with a priest? 
Me forebears were on the Orange sitle of Boyne 
Water, and we have never changed color." 
" Would you like to see a clergyman ? " 
« No, no ; just the grip of a friend's hand and 
these angels around me. Asking pardon is not 
me long suit, Williams, but perhaps the time has 
come for me to play it. If the good God will be 
kind to mc I will thank Him, as a gentleman 
should, and I will take no advantage of His 
kindness ; but if He cannot see His way clear to 
do that, I will take what is coming." 

"Dear Sir Tom," said Jane, with streaming 
eyes, " God cannot be hard with you, who have 
been so good to every one." 

« If there's little harm in me life, there's but 
scant good, too ; I can't find much credit. Me 
good angel has had an easy time of it, more's 
the pity; but Janie, if you love me, Le Bon 
Dieu will not be hard on me. He cannot bo 
severe with a poor Irislunan who never stacked 
the cards, pulled a race, or turned his back on 
a friend, and who is loved by an angel." 

I asked Sir Tom what we should do for him 
after he had passed away. 

" It would be foine to sleep in the woods just 
back of Janie's forge, where I could hear the 
click of he- hammer if the days get lonely; but 
there's a little castle, God save the mark, out 
from Sligo. Me forebears arc there, — the lucky 



;;1 




w-'^ 



360 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



ones, and me wish is to sleep with them ; but 

I doubt it can be." 

« Indeed it can be, and it shall be, too," said 
Polly. "We will all go with you. Sir Tom, 
when June comes, and you shall sleep in your 
own ground with your own kin." 

« I don't deserve it, Mrs. Williams, indeed I 
don't, but I would lie easier there. That sod 
has known us for a thousand years, and it's the 
greenest, softest, kindest sod in all the world; 
but little I'll mind when the breath is gone. I'll 
not be asking ithat much of you." 

« My dear old chap, we won't lose sight of you 
until that green sod covers the stanchest heart 
that ever beat. Polly is right. We'll go with 
you to Sligo, — all of us, — Polly and Jane and 
Jack and I, and Kate and the babies, too, if we 
can get them. You shall not be lonesome." 

« Lonesome, is it ? I'll be in the best of com- 
pany. Me heart is at rest from this moment, 
and I'll wait patiently until I can show you 
Sligo. This is a fine country, Mrs. Williams, 
and it has given me the truest friends in all the 
world, but the ground is sweet in Sligo." 

His breath came fainter and faster, and we 
could see that it would soon cease. After rest- 
ing a few minutes, Sir Tom said : — 

"Me lady Laura, do you mind that prayer 
song, the second verse?" 

Laura's voice was sobbing and uncertain as it 
quavered : — 



but 



THE DEATH OF SIR TOM 
" Other refuge have I none," 



3S1 



but it gained courage and persuasiveness until it 
filled the room and the heart of the man with, 

" Corer my defencelen head, 
With the shadow of Thy wing." 

A gentle smile and the relaxing of closed hands 
completed the story of our loss, though the real 
weight of it came days and months later. 

It was long before we could take up our daily 
duties with anything like the familiar happiness. 
Something had gone out of our lives that could 
never be replaced, and only time could salve the 
wounds. The dear man who iiad gone wa« no 
friend to solemn faces, and Uving interests must 
bury dead memories ; but it was a long time be- 
fore the click of Jane's hammer was heard in her 
forge ; not until Laura had said, « It will pie 
Aim, Jane." 



CHAPTER LVIII 



BACTERIA 







.« ' 



Januaby, February, and Mai h passed with 
more than the usual snow and rain, — fully ten 
inches of precipitation ; but tha spring proved 
neither cold nor late. During these three months 
we sold butter to the amount of 11288, and $747 
worth of eggs ; in all, $2030. 

The ploughs were started in the highest land 
on the 11th of April, and were kept going steadily 
until they had turned over nearly 280 acres. 

I decided to put the whole of the widow's field 
into corn, lots 8, 12, and 15 (84 acres) into oats, 
and 60 acres of the orchards into roots and sweet 
fodder com. Number 13 was to be sown with 
buckwheat as soon as the rye was cut for green 
forage. I decided to raise more alfalfa, for we 
could feed more to advantage, and it was fast 
gaining favor in my establishment. It is so pro- 
ductive and so nutritious that I wonder it is not 
more generally used by farmers who make a 
specialty of feeding stock. It contains as much 
protein as most grains, and is wholesome and 
highly palatable if properly cured. It should be 
cut just as it is coming into flower, and should 
3« 



BACTERIA. 



m 



be cured in tlie windrow. The leaves are the 
most nutritious part of the plant, and they are 
apt to fall off if the cutting be deferred, or if the 
curing be done carelesdi/. 

Lot No. 9 was to be fitted for alfalfa as soon 
as the season would permit. First, it must re- 
ceive a heavy dressing of manure, to be ploughed 
under. The ordinary plough was to be followed 
in this case by a subsoiler, to stir the earth as 
deep as possible. When the seed was sown, the 
land was to receive five hundred pounds an acre 
of high-grade fertilizer, and one hundred pounds 
an acre of infected soil. 

The peculiar bacterium that thrives on con- 
genial alfalfa soil is essential to the highest 
development of the plant. Without its presence 
the grass fails in its chief function — tiie storing of 
nitrogen — and makes but poor growth. When 
the alfalfa bacteria are abundant, the plant flour- 
ishes and gathers nitrogen in knobs and bunches 
in its roots und in the joints of its stems. 

I sent to a very successful alfalfa grower in 
Ohio for a thousand pounds of soil from one of 
his fields, to vaccinate my field with. This is 
not always necessary, — indeed, it rarely is, for 
alfalfa seed usually carry enough bacteria to in- 
oculate favorable soils; but I wished to see if 
this infected soil would improve mine. I have 
not been able to discover any marked advantage 
from its use ; the reason being that my soil was 
so rich in humus and added manures that the 



m 



!l 



304 



THE FAT OF THE UIND 



colonies of bacteria on the seeds were quite suf< 
jicient to infect tlie wliole mass. Under less 
favorable conditions, artificial inoculation is of 
great advantage. 

Wonderful are the secrets of nature. The 
infinitely small things seem to work for us and 
the infinitely large ones appear suited to our 
use ; and yet, perhaps, this is all << seeming " and 
« appearing." We may ourselves be simply more 
advanced bacteria, worlcing blindly toward the 
solution of ari infinite problem in which we are 
concerned only as means to an end. 

" Why should the spirit of mortal be proud," 
until it has settled its relative position with both 
Sinus and the micro-organisms, or has estim^.ted 
its stature by view-points from the bacterial 
world and from the constellation of Lyra. Until 
we have been able to compare opinions from 
these extremes, if indeed they be extremes, we 
cannot expect to make a correct estimate of our 
value in the economy of the universe. I fancy 
that we are apt to take ourselves too seriously, 
and that we will sometime marvel at the shadow 
which we did not cast. 



ill 

|l 



CHAPTER LIX 



MATOH-MAKINO 

The home lot took on a home look in the 
spnng of 1898. The lawn lost its appearance of 
newness; the trees became acquainted with each 
other; the shrubs were on intimate terms with 
their neighbors, and broke into friendly rivalry 
of blossoms; the gardens had a settled-down 
look, as if they had come to stay; and even the 
wall flowers were enjoying themselves. These 
efforts of nature to make us feel at ease were 
thankfully received by Polly and me, and we voted 
that this was more like home than anything else 
we had ever had; and when the fruit trees put 
forth their promise of an autumn harvest in 
great masses of blossoms, we declared that we 
had made no mistake in transforming ourselves 
from city to country folk. 

« Aristocracy is of the land," said Polly. « It 
always has been and always will be the source 
of dignity and stability. I feel twice as great a 

lady as I did in the tall house on B Street." 

"So you don't want to go back to that tall 
house, madam ? " 
« Indeed I don't. Why should I ? " 
sss 



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366 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



til 







" I don't know why you should, only I remem- 
ber Lot's wife looked back toward the city." 

« Don't mention that woman ! She didn't 
know what she wanted. You won't catch me 
looking toward the city, except once a week for 
three or four hours, and then I hurry back to the 
farm to see what has happened in my garden 
while I've been away." 

« But how about your friends, Polly ? " 

" You know as well as I that we haven't lost 
a friend by living out here, and that we've • tied 
some of theip closer. No, sir! No more city 
life for me. It may do for young people, who 
don't know better, but not for me. It's too re- 
stricted, and there's not enough excitement." 

« Country life fits us like paper on the wall," 
said I, "but how about the youngsters? If we 
insist on keeping children, we must take them 
into our scheme of life." 

« Of course we must, but children are an un- 
known quantity. They are x in the domestic 
problem, and we cannot tell what they stand for 
until the problem is worked out. I don't see 
why we can't find the value of x in the country 
as easily as in the city. They have had city and 
school life, now let them see country life ; the a 
will stand for wide experience at least." 

« Jane likes it thus far," said I, "and I think 
she will continue ; but I don't feel so sure about 
Jack." 

" You're as blind as a bat — or a man. Jane 



f! S 



MATCH-MAKING 



3S7 



loves country life because she's young and grow- 
ing ; but there's a subconscious sense which tells 
her that she's simply fitting herself to be carried 
off by that handsome giant, Jim Jarvis. She 
doesn't know it, but it's the truth all the same 
and It will come as sure as tide; and when it 
does come, her life will be run into other moulds 
than we have made, no matter how carefully." 

« I wonder where this modern Hercules is most 
vuluorable. I'll slay him if I find him mousing 
around my Jane." 

"You will slay nothing, Mr. Headman, and 
you know it; you will just take what's coming 
to you, as others have done since the world was 
young." 

"Well, I give fair warning; it's < hands off 
Jane, for lo, these many years, or some one will 
be brewing ' harm tea ' for himself." 

« You bark so loud no one will believe you can 
bite," said this saucy, match-making mother 

« How about Jack ? " said I. « Have you set- 
tled the moulds he is to be run in ? " 

"Not entirely; but I am not as one without 
hope. Jack will be through college in June, and 
will go abroad with us for July and August; he 
will be as busy as possible with the miners from the 
moment he comes back ; he is much in love with 
Jessie, the Gordon's have no other child, the 
property is large, Homestead Farm is only three 
miles, and — " 

"Slow up, Polly! Slow up I Your main line 



368 



THE FAT OP THE LAND 



is all right, but your tenninal facilities are bad. 
Jack is to be educated, travelled, employed, en- 
gaged, married, endowed with Homestead Farm, 
and all that; but you mustn't kill off the Gordons. 
I swing the red lantern in front of that train of 
thought. Let Jack and Jessie wait till we are 
through with Four Oaks and the Gordons have 
no further use for HomestCiid Farm, before think- 
ing of coupling that property on to this." 

« Don't be a greater goose than you can help," 
said Polly. " You know what I mean. Men are 
so short-sighted I Laura says, 'the Headman 
ought to have a small dog and a long stick ' ; but 
no matter, I'll keep an eye on the children, and 
you needn't worry about country life for them. 
They'll take to it kindly." 

« Well, they ought to, if they have any appre- 
ciation of the fitness of things. Did you ever 
sefl weather made to order before ? I feel as if 
I hfid been measured for it." 

'> It suits my garden down to the ground," said 
Polly, who hates slang. 

« It was planned for the farmer, madam. If 
it happens to fit the rose-garden mistress, it is 
a detail for you to note and be thankful for, but 
the great things are outside the rose gardens. 
Look at that corn-field ! A crow could hide in 
it anywhere." 

« What have crows hiding got to do with com, 
I'd like to know ? " 

«« When I was a boy the farmers used to say. 



MATCH-MAKING 869 

'If it will corer a crow's back on the Fourth of 
July, It will „ake good corn,' and I am farmer 

'"«rt' an rr "'^" ' ""'* «"^ »- --- 

J„lv \ "^ '^^''^^ y«* '° the Fourth of 

My, and your corn will cover a turkey by that 

"I hope so, but we shan't be here to see it 
morels the pity, as Sir Tom would say " ' 

<?h!! H° ^Z ^^°'"' ^^*" ^y« «h« ^on't go over 

« W^ ^ T '"'''' "P"" «'g»»t weeks?" 
. '.'Well, now, I like that! When did I ever 
insist on anything, Mrs. Williams? Not s nee I 
knew you well, did I? But be honest. Po,/ 

You and the youngsters may stay as long as vou 
please, but I will be back'here September ^Ist 
unless the iVVmmia breaks a shaft " 

Ih:lt^7nari.f---^«--boat. 

"So do I, but we must land at Queenstown 
We must put Sir Tom under the L a tLt 
htUe .^stle out from Sligo. Then we can do 
Holland and Belgium, and have a week or ten 
days m London." 

takel^H"^'" be enough. I do hope Johnson will 
take good care of my flowers; it's the verv most 
jmportant time, you know, and if he n^gfects 

does, they can be easily replaced. But the hay 



SdO 



THE FAT or THE LAND 



f*?' 

m-:^ 



T5i I 

i5 .^ 



i- ..J 



harvest, now, that's different ; if they spoil the 
timothy or cut the alfalfa too late ! " 

'Bother your alfalfa 1 What do I '■are for 
that ? Kate's coming out with the babies, and 
I'm going to put her in full charge of the gar- 
dens. She'll look after them, I'm sure. I'll tell 
you another bit of news : Jim Jarvis is bound to 
go with us, Jack says, and he has asked if we'll 
let him." 

« How long have you had that up your sleeve, 
young woman? I don't like it a little bit I 
That is why you talked so like an oracle a little 
while ago ! What does Jane say ? " 

"She doesn't say much, but 1 think she 
wouldn't object." 

« Of course she can't object. You sick a big 
brute of a man on to a little girl, and she don't 
dare object ; but I'H feed him to the fishes if he 
worries her." 

«To be sure you will, Mr. Ogre. Anybody 
would be sure of that to hear you talk." 

"Don't chaft me, Polly. This is a serious 
business. If you sell my girl, I'm going to buy 
a new one. I'll ask Jessie Gordon to go with us 
and, if Jack is half the man I take him to be, 
he'll replenish our stock of girls before we get 
back." 

" Who is match-making now ? " 
« I don't care what you call it. I shall take 
out letters of marque and reprisal. I won't 
raise girls to be carried off by the first privateer 



rn ' ■ 



IT- 



MATCH-MAKING g^ 

that makes sail for them, without making some 
one else suffer. If Jarvis goes, Jessie goesf thaT'^ 

"I think it will be an excellent plan, Mr. Bad 
Temper, and I've no doubt that we ca^ manage 

It. I tell you I'm entirely on the defensive until 
some one robs me, then I'll take what is my neigh- 
bor's ,f I <^„ get it. If it were not for my 
promise to S.r Tom, I wouldn't leave the fanj^ 
for a mmute I And I would establish a quaran- 
tme agamst all giants for at least five years » 
Jjou know you like Jarvis. He is one of the 

J! J? -^'l*!' "^'*'' ^°"^- ««'« *« fine a« silk, 
but he isn't fine enough for our Jane yet." 



N^i 




CHAPTER LX 



«<I TOIJ) YOU SO' 



It may be the limitless horizon, it may be the 
comradery of confinement, it may be the old 
superstition of a plank between one and 
eternity, or i,t may be some occult influence of 
ship and ocean ; but certain it is that there is no 
such place in all the world as a deck of a trans- 
atlantic liner for softening young hearts, until 
they lose all semblance of shape, and for melting 
them into each other so that out of twain there 
comes but one. I think Polly was pleased to 
watch this melting process, as it began to show 
itself in our young people, from the safe retreat 
of her steamer chair and behind the covers of her 
book. I couldn't find that she read two chapters 
from any book during the whole voyage, or that 
she was miserable or discontented. She just 
watched with a comfortable "I told you so" 
expression of countenance ; and she never men- 
tioned home lot or garden or roses, from dock 
to dock. 

It is as natural for a woman to make matches 
fis for a robin to build nests, ai-d I suppose I had 
as much right to find fault with the one as with 
808 



"I TOLD YOU SO" 383 

the other. I did not find fault with her, but 
neither could I understand her j so I fretted and 
fumed and smoked, and walked the deck and 
bet on everything in sight and out of sight, until 
the soothmg mfluence of the sea took hold of me 
and then I drifted like the rest of them 

No, I will not say « like the rest of them," for 
I could not forgive this waste of space given over 
to water. In other crossings I had not noted 
the conspicuous waste with any feeling of loss 
or regret; but other crossings had been made 
before I knew the value of land. I could not get 
away from the thought that it would add much 
to the wealth of the world if the mountains were 
removed and cast into the sea. Not only that, 
but It would curb to some extent the ragings of 
this fame turbulent sea, which was rolling and 
tossing us about for no really good reason that I 
could discover. The Atlantic had lost much of 
its romance and mystery for me, and I wondered 
if I had ever felt the enthusiasm which I heard 
expressed on all sides. 

« There she spouta I » came from a dozen voices, 
and the whole passenger list crowded the port 
rail, just to see a cow whale throwing up streams 
of water, not immensely larger than the streams 
of milk which my cow Holsteins throw down 
The crowd seemed to take great pleasure in this 
sight, but to me it was profitless. 

I have known the day when 1 could watch 
the graceful leaps and dives of a school of por- 



864 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 




poises, as it kept with easy fin, alongside of our 
ocean greyhound, with pleasure unalloyed by 
any feeling of non-utility. But now these " hogs 
of the sea ' reminded me of my Chester Whites, 
and the comparison was so much in favor of th' 
hogs of the land, that I turned from these spec- 
tacular, useless things, to meditate upon the price 
of pork. Even Mother Carey's chickens gave me 
no pleasure, for they reminded me of a far better 
brood at home, and I cheerfully thanked the 
noble Wyandottes who were working every third 
day so that L could have a trip to Europe. To 
be sure, I had European trips before I had Wy- 
andottes; to have them both the sane year was 
the marvel. 

Before we reached Queenstown, Jarvis had 
gained some ground by twice picking me out of 
the scuppers ; but as I resented his steadiness of 
foot ard strength of hand, it was not worth men- 
tioning. I could see, however, that these feats 
were great in Jane's eyes. The double rescue of 
a beloved parent, from, not exactly a watery 
grave, but a damp scupper, would never be for- 
gotten. The giant let her adore his manly strength 
and beauty, and I could only secretly hope that 
some wave — tidal if necessary — would take 
him off his feet and send him into the scuppers. 
But he had played football too long to be upset 
by a watery wave, and I was balked of my revenge. 

Jack and Jessie were rather a pleasure to me 
than otherwise. They settled right down to the 



"I TOLD YOU SO" 365 

heart-softening busineM in siioh matter-of-fact 
fashion that tlieii hearts must have lost contour 
before the voyage vas half over. Polly d'smissed 
them from her mind with a sigh of satisfaction, 
and I then hopei timt she would find some time 
to devote to me, but I was diinppointfd. Shc 
assured me that those two were iafely locked in 
the fold, but that she could not "set her mind at 
rest " until the other twr were safe. After that 
she promised to take me in hand ; whether for 
reward or for punishment left me guessing. 

The six and a half days finally came to an end, 
end we debarked for Queenstown. The journey 
across Ireland was made as quickly as slow trains 
and a circuitous route would permit, and we 
reached Sligo on the second day. Sir Thomas's 
agent mot us, and we drove at once to the « little 
castle out from Sligo." It proved to be a very 
old ..J>ie castle, four miles out, overlooking the 
bay. It was low and flat, with thick walls of 
heavy stone pierced by a few small windows, 
and a broad door made of black Irish oak heavily 
studded with iron. From one comer rost a 
square tower, thirty feet or ^iiore in height, cov- 
ered with wild vines that twined in and out 
through the narrow, unglazed windows. 

Within was ; broad, hw hall, from which 
opened four rooms of nearly equal size. There 
'vas little evidence that the castle had been in- 
hibited during recent years, though there was an 
ancient womari care-taker who opened the great 






SM 



THK FAT OF THE LAND 



n 



door for us, and then took up the Irish peasan>'s 
wail for the last of the O'Haras. She never 
ceased her crooning except when she spoke to 
us, which was seldom ; but she placed us at table 
in the state dining room, and served us with 
stewed kid, potatoes, and goat's milk. The walls 
of the dining room were covered with ancient 
pictures of the O'Haras, but none so recent as 
a hundred years. We could well believe Sir 
Tom's words, " the sod has known us for a 
thousand years," when we looked upon the score 
of pictures, e^ch of which stood for at least one 
generation. 

The agent told us that our friend had never 
lived at the castle, but that he had visited the 
place as a child, and again just before leaving 
for America. A wall-enclosed lot about two 
hundred feet square was " the kindest sod in all 
the world to an O'Hara," and here we placed our 
dear friend at rest with the « lucky ones " of his 
race. No one of the race ever deserved more 
« luck " than did our Sir Tom. The young clergy- 
man who read the service assured us that he had 
found it ; and our minds gave the same evidence, 
and our hearts said Amen, as we turned from his 
peaceful resting-place by the green waters of Sligo 
Bay. 

Two days later we were comfortably lodged 
at The Hague, from which we intended to " do " 
the little kingdom of Holland by rail, by canal, 
or on foot, as we should elect, 



CHAPTER LXI 

THK BELGIAN fABMBB 

Lea VINO Holland with regret, we crossed the 
hchelde into Be]f-m, the cockpit of Europe. It 
IS here that one soes what intensive farming is 
like. No fences to occupy space, no animals 
roaming at large, nothing but small strips of 
land tilled to the utmost, chie^y by hand. Little 
machinery is used, and much f the work is done 
after primitive fashions; bu. the land is produc- 
tive, and it is worked to the top of iu bent. 

The pc'sant-farmer soils his cows, hi? -heep 
his swine, in a way that is economical o .pace 
and food, if not of labor, and manages to make 
a living and to pay rent for his twenty-acre strip 
of land. His methods do not appeal to the 
American farmer, who wastes more grain and 
forage each year than would keep the Nether- 
lander, his family, and his stock ; but there is a 
lesson to be learned from this subdivision and 
careful cultivation of land. Belgian methods 
prove that Mother Earth can care for a great 
many children if she be properly husbanded, and 
that the sooner we recognize her capacity the 
better for us. 

m 



THE PAT OF THE LAND 



5! I 



flB;' 



ll 



it li^' 

18 ' ^i'' 



Abandoned farms are not known in Belgium 
and France, though the soil has been cultivated 
for a thousand years, and was originally no better 
than our New England farms, and not nearly so 
good as hundreds of those which are practically 
given over to " old fields " in Virginia. 

It is neglect that impoverishes land, not use. 
Intelligent use makes land better year ty year. 
The only way to wear out land is to starve and 
to rob it at the same time. Food for man and 
beast may be taken from the soil for thousands 
of years without depleting it. All it asks in r- - 
turn is the refuse, carefully saved, properly ap- 
plied, and thoroughly worked in to mak' it 
available. If, in addition to this, a cover crop 
of some leguminous plant be occasionally turned 
under, the soil may actually increase in fertility, 
though it be heavily cropped each year. 

It would pay the young American farmer to 
study Belgian methods, crude though they are, 
for the insight he could gain into the possibilities 
of continuous production. The greatest number 
of people to the square mile in the inhabited 
globe live in this little, ill-conditioned kingdom, 
and most of them get their living from the soil. 
It has been the battle-field of Europe : a thousand 
armies have harrowed it ; human blood has 
drenched it from Liege to Ostend ; it has been 
depopulated again and again. But it springs into 
new life after each catastrophe, simply because 
the soil is prolific of farmers, and they cannot be 



THE BELGIAN FAEMEB 359 

kept down. Like the poppies on the field of 
Waterloo, which renew the blood-red strife each 
year, the Belgian peasant-farmer springs new- 
born from the soil, which is the only mother he 
knows. 

After two weeks in Holland, two in Belgium, 
and two in London, we were ready to turn our 
faces toward home. 

We took the train to Southampton, and a small 
side-wheel steamer carried us outside Southamp- 
ton waters, where we tossed about for thirty min- 
utes before the Normwnia came to anchor. The 
wind was blowing half a gale from the north, 
and we were glad to get under the lee of the great 
vessel to board her. 

The transfer was quickly made, and we were 
off for New York. The wind gained strength as 
the day grew old, but while we were in the So- 
lent the bluff coast of Devon and Cornwall broke 
its force sufficiently to permit us to be comfort- 
able on the port side of the ship. 

As night came on, great clouds rolled up from 
the northwest and the wind increased. Darkness, 
as of Egj'pt, fell upon us before we passed the 
Lizard, and the only things that showed above 
the raging waters were the beacon lights, and 
these looked dim and far away. Occasionally a 
flash of lightning threw the waters into relief, 
and then made the darkness more impenetrable. 
As we steamed beyond the Lizard and the pro- 
tecting Cornish coast, the full force of the gale, 

2b 



870 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 





from out the Irish Sea, struck us. We were go- 
ing nearly with it, and the good ship pitched and 
reared lilie an angry horse, but did not roll much. 
Pitching is harder to bear than rolling, and the 
decks were quickly vacated. 

I turned into my stateroom soon after ten 
o'clock, and then happened a thing which will 
hold a place in my memory so long as I hare 
one. I did not feel sleepy, but I was nervous, 
restless, and half sick. I lay on my lounge for 
perhaps half an hour, and then felt impelled to 
go on deck. I wrapped myself in a great water- 
proof ulster, pulled my storm cap over my ears, 
and climbed the companionway. Two or three 
electric bulbs in sheltered places on deck only 
served to make the darkness more intense. I 
crawled forward of the ladies' cabin, and, sup- 
porting myself against the donkey-engine, peered 
at the light above the crow's-nest and tried to 
think that I could see the man on watch in the 
nest. I did see him for an instant, when the 
next flash of lightning came, and also two officers 
on the bridge ; and I knew that Captain Bahrens 
was in the chart house. When the next flash 
came, I saw the other lookout man making his 
short turns on the narrow space of bow deck, 
and was tempted to join him ; why, I do not 
know. I crept past the donkey-engine, holding 
fast to it as I went, until I reached the iron gate 
that closes the narrow passage to the bow deck. 
With two silver dollars in my teeth I staggered 



THE BELGIAN PABMEB 371 

across this rail-guarded plank, and when the next 
flash came I was sitting at the feet of the look- 
out man with the two silver dollars in my out- 
stretched hand. He took the money, and let me 
crawl forward between the anchors and the high 
bulwark of the bows. 

The sensations which this position gave me 
were strange beyond description. Darkness was 
thick around me; at one moment I was carried 
upward until I felt that I should be lost in the 
black sky, and the next moment the downward 
motion was so terrible that the blacker water at 
the bottom of the sea seemed near. I cannot 
say that I enjoyed it, but I could not give 
it up. ° 

When the great bow rose, I stood up, and 
looking over the bulwark, tried to see either sky 
or water, but tried in vain, save when the light- 
mng revealed them both. When the bow fell I 
crouched under the bulwark and let the sea comb 
over me. How long I remained at this weird 
post, I do not know; but I was driven from it 
in such terror as I hope never to feel again. 

An unusually large wave carried me nearer the 
sky than I liked to be, and just as the sharp bow 
of the great iron ship was balancing on its crest 
for the desperate plunge, a glare of lightning 
made sky and sea like a sheet of flame and 
curdled the blood in my veins. In the trough 
of the sea, under the very foot of the immense 
steamship, lay a delicate pleasure-boat, with its 



372 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



<: ' n 

'at •• 

t ■ ] 






* •\ 



fi 



mast broken flush with its deck, and its helpless 
body the sport of the cruel waves. 

The light did not last longer than it would take 
me to count iive, but in that time I saw four 
figures that will always haunt me. Two sailors 
in yachting costume were struggling hopelessly 
with the tiller, and the wild terror of their faces 
as they saw the huge destruction that hung over 
them is simply unforgettable. 

The other two were different. A strong, blond 
man, young,' handsome, and brave I know, stood 
bareheaded in front of ..he cockpit. With a sud- 
den, vehement motion he drew the head of a girl 
to his breast and held it there as if to shut out 
the horrible worW. There was no fear in his 

face, just pain and distress that he was unable 

to do more. I am thankful that I did not see 
the face of the girl. Her brown hair has floated 
in my dreams until I have cried out for help ; 
what would her face have done ? 

In the twinkling of an eye it was over. I heard 
a sound as when one breaks an egg on th'^ edge 

of a cup, no more. I screamed with horror, 

ran across the guarded plank, climbed the gate, 
and fell headlong and screaming over the donkey, 
engine. Picking up my battered self, I shouted: 

« Bahrens ! Bahrens 1 for God's sake, help ! 
Man overboard! Stop the ship!" 

I reached the ladder to the bridge just as the 
captain came out of the chart house. 

« For God's sake, stop the ship ! You've run 



THE BELGIAN FARMER 



373 

dow. a boat with four people I Stop her, can't 

« It can't be done, man. If we've run down 
a boat U's all over with it and all in it. I cZ't 
nsk a thousand lives without hope of saving o„e 
Thjs .s a gale, Doctor, and we have our hand. 

I turned from him in horror and despair. I 
stumbled to my stateroom, dropped my we 
clothmg m the middle of the floor, and kniw 

The rush of green waters was pounding at my 
porthole; the experience of the night came 
back to me w.th horror; the reek of my we 
clotl.es^ s.ckened my heart, and I rang fo'r the 

hZlT "r", ^^'""^ ^"^^y- ^"^t^^' ^nd don't 

X^T.l"'^ """' '^'y ^'' dry and pressed." 

^^J' What thmgs does tho Herr Doctor speak 

"The wet things there on the floor" 
^J'Excuse me, but I have seen no things 

«vJlIr^°"''^ '^"'"P-"' "^'"^ I' J^^'f rising, 
what do you mean by saying— Well I'll he 

:,r;^-"' There were m'y 'clothes, Sy 'd 

their hook, without evidence of moisture or use 
Oustav remind me to give you three rix- 
tlollars at breakfast." 
" Danke, Herr Doctor." 



374 THE FAT OF THE LAND 

Of such stuff are dreams made. But I will 
know those terror-stricken sailors if I do not 
see them for a hundred years; and I am glad 
the dark-haired girl did not realize the horror, 
but simply knew that the man loved her; and 
I often think of the man who did the nice thmg 
when no one was looking, and whose face was 
not terrorized by the ..ack of doom. 



ill 
m 



CHAPTER LXII 



HOMIKJOMIKO 

Evmf Polly was satisfied with our young 
people before we entered New York Bay. If 
anything in their "left pulmonaries" had re- 
mained unsoftened during the voyage out and 
the comradery of the Netherlands, it was melted 
into non-res' -tanoe by the homeward trip. I 
could not long hold out against the evidence of 
happiness that surrounded me, and I gave a half- 
grudging consent that Jarvis and Jane might play 
together for the next three or four years, if they 
would not ask to play « for keeps " until those 
years had passed. They readily gave the promise, 
but every one knows how such promises are kept. 
The children wore me out in time, as all children 
do in all kinds of ways, and got their own ways 
in less than half the contract period. I cannot 
put my finger on any punishment that has be- 
fallen them for this lack of filial consideration, 
and I am fifteen-sixteenths reconciled. 

I was downright glad that Jack "made good" 
with Jessie Gordon. She was the sort of girl 
to get out the best that was in him, and I was 
glad to have her begin early. Try as I might, I 

876 



37S 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 




j; i" 



could not feel unhappy that beautiful September 
morning as we steamed up the finest waterway 
to the finest city in the world. Deny it who 
will, I claim that our Empire City and its en- 
vironments make the most impressive human 
show. There is more life, vigor, utility, gor- 
geousness about it than can be found anywhere 
else ; and it has the snap and elasticity of youth, 
which are so attractive. No man who claims 
the privilege of American citizenship can sail up 
New York Ejay without feeling pride in his 
country and satisfaction in his birthright. One 
doesn't disparage other cities and other countries 
when he claims that his own is the best. 

We were not specially badly treated at the 
custom-house, — no worse, indeed, than smugglers, 
thieves, or pirates would have been ; and we es- 
caped, after some hours of confinement, without 
loss of life or baggage, but with considerable 
loss of dignity. How can a self-respecting, 
middle-aged man (to be polite to myself) stand 
for hours in a crowded shed, oi- lean against a 
dirty post, or sit on the sharp edge of his open 
trunk, waiting for a Supei'.or Being with a gilt 
band around his hat, without losing some modi- 
cum of dignity ? And how, when this Superior 
Being calls his number and kicks his trmk, is 
he to know that he is a free-bom American 
citizen and a lineal descendant of Roger Will- 
iams? The evidence is entirely from within. 
How is he to support a countenance and mien 



HOME-COMING 377 

of dignity while the secrets of his chest are laid 
bare and the contents of his trunk dumped on 
the dirty Hoor? And how must his eyes droop 
and his face take on a hang-dog look when his 
second-best coat is searched for diamonds, and 
his favorite (though worn) pajamas punched for 
pearls. 

There are concessions to be made for one's 
great and glorious country, and the custom-house 
18 one of them. Perhaps we will do better 
sometime, and perhaps, though this is unlikely, 
the customs inspectors of the future will dis^ 
guise themselves as gentlemen. We finally 
passed the inquisition, and, with stuffed trunks 
and ruffled spirits, took cabs for the station, 
and were presently within the protecting walls 
at Four Oaks, there to forget lost dignities in 
the cultivation of land and new ones. 



CHAPTER LXIII 



':| 



ts 



AS HXTKDBBD FOLD 

Katb declared that she had had the time of 
her life during her nine weeks' stay at Four 
Oaks. ' Pepple here every day, and the house 
full over Sunday. We've kept the place hum- 
ming," said she, "and you may be thankful if 
you find anything here but a mortgag-e. When 
Tom and I get rich, we are going to be farm 
r3ople." 

"Don't wait for that, daughter. Start your 
country home early and let it grow up with the 
children. It doesn't take much money to buy 
the land and to get fruit trees started. If Tom 
will give it his care for three hours a week, he 
will make it at least pay interest and taxes, and 
it will grow in value every year until you are 
ready to live on it. Think how our orchards 
would look now if we had started them ten 
years ago I They would be fit to support an 
average family." 

" There, Dad, don't mount your hobby as soon 
as ever you get home. But we ham had a good 
time out here. Do you really think farming is 
all beer and skittles ? " 



il!> 'I 



tin 



AN HUNDRED FOLD 



379 



« It has been smooth sailing for me thus far, 
and I believe it is simply a business with the 
usual ups and downs ; but I mean to make the 
ups the feature in this c ^e." 

« Are you really glad to get back to it ? Didn't 
you want to stay longer ? " 

' I had a fine trip, and all that, but I give you 
t! is for true; I don't think it would make me 
feel badly if I were condemned to stay within 
forty miles of this place for the rest of my life." 

" I can't go so far as that with you, Dad, but 
perhaps I may when I'm older." 

« Yes, age makes a difference. At forty a man 
is iv fool or a farmer, or both; at fifty the pull 
of the land is mighty ; at sixty it has full posses- 
sion of him ; at seventy it draws him down with 
other forces than that which Newton discovered, 
and at eighty it opens for him and kindly tucks 
the sod around him. Mother Earth is no step- 
mother, but warm and generous to all, and I 
think a fellow is lucky who comes to her for 
long years of bounty before he is compelled to 
seek her final hospitality." 

" But, Dad, we can't all be farmers." 

« Of course not, and there's the pity of it ; but 
almost every man can have a plot of ground on 
which each year he can grow some new thing, if 
only a radish or a leaf of lettuce, to add to the 
real wealth of the world. I tell you, young 
lady, that all wealth springs out of the ground. 
You think that riches are msH- Wall Street, 






380 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



#11 1! 



- £ ;i 



■^li 



1 • 



but they are not; they are only handled and 
manipulated. Stap the work of the farmer from 
April to October of any year, and Wall Street 
would be a howling wilderness. The Street 
makes it easier to exchange a dozen eggs for 
three spools of silk, or a pound of butter for a 
hat pin, but tha' "s all ; it never created half the 
intrinsic value of twelve eggs or sixteen ounces 
of butter. It's only the farmer who is a wealth 
producer, and it's high time thai, he should be 
recognized as such. He's the husbandman of all 
life ; wiAout' him the world would be depopu- 
lated in three years. You don't half appreciate 
the profession which your Dad has taken up in 
his old age." 

« That sounds all right, but I don't thir' ' e 
farmer would recognize himself from tht de- 
scription. He doesn't live up to his possi U- 
ties, does he ? " 

"Mighty few people do. A farmer may be 
what he chooses to be. He's under no greater 
limitations than a business or a professional 
man. If he be content to use his muscle 
blindly, he v/ill probably fall under his own 
harrow. So, too, would the merchant or the 
lawyer who failed to use his intelligence in his 
business. The farmer who cultivates his mind 
as well as his land, uses his pencil as often as his 
plough, and mixes brain.s with brawn, will not 
fall under his own harrow or any other man's. 
He will never be the drudge of soil or of season, 



AW HUNDBEU) FOLD 



381 



.e 

iC- 

U- 



for to a large extent he can control the mil and 
discount the season. No other following gives 
such opportunity for independence and self- 
balance." 

"Almost thou persuadest mn to become a 
farmer," said Kate, as we left the porch, where I 
had been admiring my land while I lectured on 
the advantages of husbandry. 

Polly came out of the rose garden, where she 
had been examining her flowers and setting her 

watch, and said : 

"Kate, you and the grand-giris must stay this 
month out, anyway. It seems an age since we 
saw you last." 

" All right, if Dad will agree not to fire farm 
fancies and figures at me every time he catches 
me in an easy-chair." 

" I'll promise, but you don't know whiit you're 
missing." 

Four Oaks looked great, and I wi^ tempter! 
to tramp over every acre of it, saying to each, 
"You are mine"; but first I had a little talk 
with Thompson. 

« Everything has been greased for us this sum- 
mer," said Thompson. « We got a bumper crop 
of hay, and the oats and corn are fine ! I allow 
you've got fifty-five bushels of oats to the acre in 
those shocks, and' the corn looks like it stood for 
more than seventy. We sold nine .more calves 
the end of June, for il04. Mr. Tom must have 
a lot of money for you, for in August we sold 



li'i 



••'] 



4 


(' 


ii. 




li 


'1 


li'^ 


n- 


m 


% 



383 THE FAT OF THE LAND 

the finest bunch of shoates you ever saw,— 812 
of them. They were not extra heavy, but they 
were fine as silk. Mr. Tom said they netted 
$4.15 per hundred, and they averaged a little over 
260 pounds. I went down with them, and the 
buyers tumbled over each other to get them. I 
was mighty proud of the bunch, and brought 
back a check for $3407." 

» Good for you, Thompson ! That's the best 

sale yet." . . 

« Some of the heifers will be commg m the 
last of this month or the first of next. Don't 
you want to get rid of those five scrub cows?" 

« Better \ /ait six weeks, and then you may sell 
them. Do you know where you can place 

them?" 

« Jackson was looking at them a few days ago, 
and said he would give 135 apiece for them; 
but they are worth more." 

"Not for us, Thompson, and not for him, 
either, if he saw things just right. They're good 
for scrubs ; but they don't pay well enough for 
us, and if he wants them he can have them at 
that price about the middle of October." 

The credit account for the second quarter of 
1898 stood : — 

aScalTM '.,... 687.00 

fc : :::... j^^ 

Total •2221.00 



CHAPTER LXIV 



COMI-ORI MK -WITH APPLES 

Septembeb added a new item to our list of 
articles sold ; small, indeed, but the beginning of 
the fourth and last product of our factory farm, 
— fruit from our newly planted orchards. The 
three hundred plum trees in the chicken runs 
gave a moderate supply 'or the colony, and the 
dwarf-pear trees yieldeu a small crop ; but these 
were hardly included in our scheme. I expected 
to be able, by and by, to sell $200 or $300 worth 
of plums ; but the chief income from fruit would 
come from the fifty acres of young apple 
orchards. 

I hope to live to see the time when these 
young orchards will bring me at least $5 a 
year for each tree ; and if I round out my expect- 
ancy (as the life-insurance people figure it), I may 
see them do much better. In the interim the 
day of small things must not be despised. In 
our climate the Yellow Transparent and the 
Duchess do not ripen until early September, and 
I was therefore at home in time to gather and 
market the little crop from my six hundred trees. 
The apples were carefully picked, for they do not 
388 





j^ii 



•"•I 



384 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



bear handling well, and the perfect ones were 
placed in half-bushel boxes and sent to my city 
grocer. Not one defective apple was packed, for 
I was determined that the Four Oaks stencil 
should be as favorably known for fruit as for 
other products. 

The grocer allowed me fifty cents a box. 
"The market is glutted with apples, but not 
your kind," said he. "Can you send more?" 
I could not, send more, for my young trees had 
done their best in producing ninety-six boxes of 
perfect fruit. Boxes and transportation came to 
ten cents for each box, and I received $38 for 
my first shipment of fruit. 

I cannot remember any small sum of money 
that ever pleased me more, — except the $28 
which I earned by seven months of labor in my 
fourteenth year ; for it was " first fruits " of the 
last of our interlacing industries. 

Thirty-eight dollars divided among my trees 
would give one cent to each ; but four years later 
these orchards gave net returns of ninety cents 
for each tree, and in four years from now they 
will bring more than twice that amount. At 
twelve years of age they will bring an annual 
income of $3 each, and this income will steadily 
increase for ten or fifteen years. At the time of 
writing, February, 1903, they are good for $1 a 
year, which is five per cent of $20. 

Would I take $20 apiece for these trees ? Not 
much, though that would mean $70,000. I do 



COMFORT ME WITH APPLES 385 

not know where I could place *70,000 so that it 
would pay five per cent this year, six per cent 
next year, and twenty per cent eight or ten years 
from now. Of course, t70,000 would be an ex- 
orbitant price to pay for an orchard like mine • 
but It must be remembered that I am old and 
cannot waii • r trees to grow. 

If a man .-ill buy land at 150 or $60 an acre 
^lant It to apple trees (not less than sixty-five to 
the acre), and bring these trees to an age when 
they will produce fruit to the value of $1.50 each 
they will not have cost more than 11.50 per tree 
for the land, the trees, and the labor. 

I am too old to begin over again, and I wish 
to see a handsome income from my experiment 
before my eyes are dim ; but why on earth young 
men do not take to this kind of investment is 
more than I can see. It is as safe ., govern- 
ment bonds, and infinitely safer than most mer- 
cantile ventures. It is a dignified employment, 
free from the ordina risks of business ; and -'t 
is not likely to be overdone. All one needs is 
energy, a little money, and a good bit of well- 
directed intelligence. This combination is com- 
mon enough to double our rural population, 
relieve the congestion in trades and underpaid 
employments, and add immensely to the wealth 
of the country. If we can only get the people 
headed for the land, it will do much toward 
solving the vexing labor problems, and will draw 
the teeth of the communists and the anarchists ; 

2o 




3M 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



for no one is so willing to divide as he who can- 
not lose by division. To the man who has a 
plot of ground which he calls his own, division 
doesn't appeal with any but negative force. 
Neither should it, until all available lands are 
occupied. Then he must move up and make 
room for another man by his side. 

The sales for the quarter ending September 
80 were as follows : — 



96 half-buahel boxes of apples 
9 calves . 
Eggs . 
Butter . 
Hogs . 
Total 



•38.00 

104.00 

543.00 

1293.00 

8407.00 

•5385.00 



yn 



This was the best total for any three months 
up to date, and it made me feel that I was get 
ting pretty nearly out of the woods, so far as 
increasing my investment went. 

Including my new hcg-house and ten thou 
sand bushels of purchased grain, the investment 
thought I, must represent quite a little more thai 
§100,000, and I hoped not to go much beyon( 
that sum, for Polly looked serious when I talke( 
of six figures, though she -vas reconciled to anj 
amount which could be stated in five. 

My buildings were all finished, and were goo( 
for many years; and if they burned, the insui 
ance would pracucally replace them. My grar 
ary was full enough of oats and corn to provid 
for deficits of years to come ; and my flocks am 



COMFOKT ME WITH APPLES 387 

herds were now at their maximum, since Sam 
had turned more than eight hundred pullets into 
the laymg pens. I began to feel that the factory 
would soon begin to run full time and to make 
material returns for its equipment. It would, of 
course, be several years before the fruit would 
make much showing, but I am a patient man, 
and could wait ' 



CHAPTER LXV 



'^l\f 





l£ 



THE END OF THE THIRD TEAB 

"Polly," said I, on the evening of Decem- 
ber 31, "let's settle the accounts for the year, 
and see how much we must credit to 'experi- 
ence ' to make the figures balance." 

" Aren't you going to credit anything to health, 
and good times generally? If not, you don't 
play fair." 

" We'll keep those things in reserve, to spring 
on the enemy at a critical moment ; perhaps 
they won't be needed." 

" I fancy you will have to bring all your re- 
serves into action this time, Mr. Headman, for 
you promised to make a good showing at the 
end of the third year." 

" Well, so I will ; at least, according to my 
own estimate ; but others may not see it as 
I do." 

" Don't let others see it at all, then. The ex- 
periment is yours, i'^n't it ? " 

« Yes, for us ; but it's more than a personal 
matter. I want to prove that a factory farm is 
sound in theory and safe in practice, and that it 
will fit the needs of a whole lot of farmers." 

388 



THE END OF THE THIRD YEAfi 389 

you've been a little e'trintt"' ^"" ^'^'"'^ 

"Only on the home forty Pollv T •„ 
pound this matter to von J' J' "^'^ "" 
fall asleep, but not toVay" 1^1 ^J^"^ 
ness on hand. I want to givryou f h "''■ 

to begin with: you are not I! ■ "^^"""'"S 

sion or on to myZZl unt I ^'T '" " '°"^'"- 

ThoT, „ .^ y ""^l at low nrices 

eer. n 7f'! Anderson sets fire to your pt. 
gery o hghtnmg strikes your gmnary, _ how 
about the expense account then'" 

are'S'^Ton"" "T"'' ^"^ '"^U'-ance policies 
are to nL J ^^^V^" ^^" ' ^^°' "adam, they 
are to pay for new buildings if the old ones burn 
up- I charge the farm over 1200 a year for thi, 
XV^t, '"^ ' ^'"'^-^ contract'- ' *'" 

to t^eZlZ rni:°^^^^ '''' ''''' '' ^-'" ««* 



'AH right. First, 



let 



me go over the state- 



390 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 




ment for the last quarter of the year. The sales 
were: apples, from 150 old trees at 98 per tree, 
J450; 10 calves, $115; 860 hens and 500 cock- 
erels $430 ; 5 cows (the common ones, to Jack- 
son) at 185 each, $175; eggs, $827 ; butter, $1811 ; 
and 281 hogs, rushed to market in December when 
only about eight months old and sold for $8.70 
per hundred to help swell this account, $2649 ; 
making a total for the fourth quarter of $6957. 
» The items of expense for the year were : — 



u Interesb on inTeatment 
New hog-boose . 
10,000 bu. of grain 
Wages . 

Food for colony . 
Food for stock 
Seeds and fertilizers 
Insurance and taxes 
Shoeing and repair* 
Beplenisbments 
" Total . 



•5,132.00 

4,220.00 

2,460.00 

6,322.00 

1,640.00 

2,166.00 

780.00 

812.00 

340.00 

450.00 

$22,760.00 



«The credit account reads: first quarter, 
$2080; second quarter, $2221; third quarter, 
$5887 ; fourth quarter, $6957 ; total, $16,695. 

«If we take out the $6670 for the extra pig- 
gery and the grain, the expense account and the 
income will almost balance, even leaving out the 
$4000 which we agreed to pay for food and shel- 
ter. 1 think that's a fair showing for the three 
years, don't you ? " 

"Possibly it is; but what a lot of money you 
pay for wages. It's the largest item." 

«Yes, and it always will be. I don't claim 



i.M- fi 



THE END OF THE THIED YEAR 391 

that a factory farm can be run like a grazing or 
a grain farm. One of its objects is to furnish 
well-paid employment to a lot of people. We've 
had nine men and two lads all the year, and 
three extra men for seven months, three women 
on the farm and five in the house, _ twenty-two 
people to whom we've paid wages this year. 
Doesn't that count for anything? How many 
did we keep in the city ? " 

« Four, — three women and a man." 

"Then we give employment to eighteen more 
people at equally good wages and in quite as 
wholesome surroundings. Do you realize, Polly, 
that the maids in the house get J1300 out of the 
15800, — one quarter of the whole? Possibly 
there is a suspicion of extravagance on the home 
forty." 

« Not a bit of it I You know that you proved 
to me that it cost us 15200 a year for board and 
shelter in the city, and you only credit the farm 
with UOOO. That other $1200 would more than 
pay the extra wages. I really don't think it 

costs as much to live here as it did on B 

Street, and any one can see the difference." 

" You n,re right. If we call our plant an even 
$100,000, which at five per cent would mean 
$5000 a year, — where can you get house, lawns, 
woods, gardens, horses, dogs, servants, liberty, 
birds, and sun-dials on a wide and liberal scale 
for $5000 a year, except on a farm like this? 
You can't buy furs, diamonds, and yachts with 




393 THE FAT OP THE LAND 

such money anyhow or anywhere, so personal 
expenditures must be left out of all our calcula- 
tions. No, the wage account will always be the 
large one, and I am glad it is so, for it is one 
finger of the helping hand." 

"You haven't finished with the figures yet. 
You don't know what to add to our permanent 
investment." 

" That's quickly Jone. Ntneieen thotuand five 
hundred and ninety-five dollare from twenty-two 
thousand seven hundred and sixty dollars leaves 
three thousand one hundred and sixty-five dollars 
to charge to our investment. I resent the word 
' permanent,' which you underscored just now, 
for each year we're going to have a surplus to 
subtract from this interest-bearing debt." 

"Precious little surplus you'll have for the 
next few years, with Jack and Jane getting 
married, and — " 

"But, Polly, you can't charge weddings to 
the farm, any more than we can yachts and 
diamonds." 

« I don't see why. A wedding is a very im- 
portant part of one's life, and I think the farm 
ought to be mad^ to pay for it." 

"I quite agree with you; but we must add 
$3165 to the old farm debt, and take up our 
increased burden with such courage as we may. 
In round figures it is $106,000. Does that frighten 

you, Polly?" 

« A little, perhaps ; but I guess we can manage 



THE END OF THE THIED YEAR 303 
it. r<m would have be.n frightened three yearn 

•106,000 into a farm of less than five hundred 
acres." 

" You're right. Spending money on a farm is 

Ike other forms of vice, -hated, then tolerated, 

then embraced. But seriou.s!y, a man would get 

a bargam if he secured this property to-day for 

o?;^Vnnn "'."'"' "'• ^ ^'°"'''"'' **'«' " »"'""«' 
01 960,000 and give it up." 

"You'll hardly find a purchaser at that price, 

and Im glad you can't, for I want to live here 

and nowhere else." 



|l 



m 



Aiib 



CHAPTER LXVI 

LOOKIKO BAOKWABD 

With the close of the third year ends the 
deUiled history of .he factory farm. All I wish 
to do further is to give a brief synopsis of the 
debit and Credit accounto for each of the suc- 
ceeding four years. 

First I will say a word about the people who 
helped me to start the factory. Thompson and 
his wife are still with me, and they are well on 
toward the wage limit. Johnson h»« the gardens 
and Lars the stables, and Otto is .^hief swme- 
herd. French and his wife act as though they 
were fixtures on the place, as indeed I hope 
they are. They have saved a lot of money, and 
they are the sort who are inclined to let well 
enough alone. Judson is still at Four Oaks, 
doing as good service as ever; but I fancy that 
he is minded to strike out for himself before 
long. He has been fortunate in money matters 
since he gave up the horse and buggy; he in- 
formed me six months ago that he was worth 
more than fSOOO. 

«I shouldn't have had five thousand cents if 
I'd stuck to that darned old buggy," said he, 

8M 



LOOKINO ACKWARD 



SOS 



•and I guess I'll have (o thank jou for throwing 
me down that day." 

Zeb has married Lena, and a little cottage 
is to be built for them this winter, just east of 
the farm-hause; and Lena's i-lace is to be filled 
by her cousin, who has come from the old 
country. 

Anderson and Sam both left in 1898, — poor, 
faithful Anderson because his heart gave out, 
and Sam because his beacon called him. 

Lars's boys, now sixteen and eighteen, have full 
charge of the poultry plant, and are quite up to 
Sam in his best days. Of course I have had all 
kinds of troubles with all sorts of men ; but we 
have such a strong force of « reliables " that the 
atmosphere is not suited to the idler or the hobo, 
and we are, therefore, never seriously annoyed. 
Of onp thing I am certain: no man stays long 
at our farm-house without apprehending the uses 
of napkin and bath-tub, and these are strong 
missionary forces. 

Through careful tilth and the systematic return 
of all waste to the land, the acres at Four Oaks 
have grown more fertile each year. The soil was 
good seven years ago, and we have added fifty 
per cent to its crop capacity. The amount of 
waste to return to the land on a farm like this 
is enormous, and if it be handled with care, 
there will be no occasion to spend much money 
for commercial fertilizers. I now buy fertilizers 
only for the mid-summer dressing on my timothy 



ll 



ffi 



396 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



and alfalfa fields. The apple trees are very 
heavily mulched, even beyond the spread of their 
branches, with waste fresh from the vats, and 
once a year a light dressing of muriate of potash 
is applied. The trees have grown as fast as 
could be desired, and all of them are now in 
bearing. The apples from these young trees sold 
for enough last year to net ninety cents for each 
tree, which is more than the trees have ever cost 
me. 

In 1898 these orchards yielded $38 ; in 1899, 
1165; in 1900, $530; in 1901, $1117. Seven years 
from the date of planting these trees, which were 
then three years old, I had received in money 
$4720, or $1200 more than I paid for the fifty 
acres of land on which they grew. If one would 
ask for better returns, all he has to do is to wait ; 
for there is a sort of geometrical progression in- 
herent in the income from all well-cared-for or- 
chards, which continues in force for about fifteen 
years. There is, however, no rule of progress 
unless the orchards are well cared for, and I 
would not lead any one to the mistake of plant- 
ing an orchard and then doing nothing but wait. 
Cultivate, feed, prune, spray, dig bores, fight mice, 
rabbits, aphides, and the thousand other enemies 
to trees and fruit, and do these things all the 
time and then keep on doing them, and you will 
win out. Omit all or auy of them, and the chances 
are that you will fail of big returns. 

But orcharding is not unique in this. Every 



LOOKING BACKWARD 397 

form of business demands prompt, timely, and In- 
telhgent attent.on to make it yield its best The 
orchards hav: ;„-..,., ny chief care for seven years • 
the sprayir :;, iriulcl inp. ..nd cultivation have been 
done by th ■. ;t,en, but I think I have spent one 
whole year, dailn^ the past seven, among my 
trees. Do I charge my orchards for this time ? 
No ; for I have gotten as much good from the 
trees as they have from me, and honors are easy. 
A meditative man in his sixtli lustrum can be 
very happy with pruning-hook and shears among 
his young trees. If he cannot, I am sincerely 
sorry for him. 

I have not increased my plant during the past 
four years. My stock consume a little more than 
I can raise ; but there are certain tilings which 
a farm will not produce, and there are other 
things which one had best buy, thus letting others 
work their own specialties. 

If I had more land, would I increase my 
stock ? No, unless I had enough land to warrant 
another plant. My feeding-grounds are filled to 
their capacity from a sanitary point of view, 
and it would be foolish to take risks for mod- 
erate returns. If I had as much more land, I 
would establish another factory ; but this would 
double my business cares without adding one 
item to my happiness. As it is, the farm gives 
me enough to keep me keenly interested, and not 
enough to tire or annoy me. So far as profits 
go, it is entirely satisfactory. It feeds and shel- 



I 



V'i 



14 • ■'t :!i 



•■■:>t . 



'h: 



it 






a\ 



398 THE FAT 07 THE LAND 

ters my family and twenty others in the colony, 
and also the stranger within the gates, and it 
does this year after year without friction, like a 
well-oiled machine. 

Not only this. Each year for the past four, it 
has given a substantial surplus to be subtracted 
from the original investment. If I live to be 
sixty-eight years of age, the farm will be my 
creditor for a considerable sum. I have bought 
no corn or oats since January, 1898. The seven- 
teen thousand bushels which I then had in my 
granary have slowly grown less, though there 
has never been a day when we could not have 
measured up seven thousand or eight thousand 
bushels. I shall probably buy again when the 
market price pleases me, for I have a horror of 
running short; but I shall not sell a bushel, though 
prices jump to the sky. 

I have seen the time when my corn and oats 
would have brought four times as much as I paid 
for them, but they were not for sale. They are 
the raw material, to be made up in my factory, 
and they are worth as much to me at twenty cents 
a bushel as at eighty cents. What would one 
think of the manager of a silk-thread factory who 
sold his raw silk, just because it had advanced 
in price ? Silk thread would advance in propor- 
tion, and how does the manager know that he 
can replace his silk when needed, even at the 
advanced price ? 

When corn went to eighty cents a bushel, hogs 



LOOKING BACKWAKD 399 

sold for $8.25 a hundred, and my twenty-cent 
com made pork just as fast as eiihty-cent col 
would have done, and a great deal cheaper 

Once I sold soi.:e timothy hay, but it was to 
" "Jf 7»* t' --on," just as I bought grS 

On July 18, 1901, a tremendous rain and wind 

rd^etirThtrjtrr^^"^^^" 

chin^worigaganSl^--^^ 
cutting It for hay. Before it was half cut, I sold 
to a hvery-stable keeper in Exeter fifty tons of 
bright timothy for 1600. The storm broVt me 
no loss, for the horses did quite as well on Z 
oat hay as they ever had done on timothy, and 
$600 more than paid for the loss of the grai^ 

During the first three years of my experiment 
hogs were very low, -lower, indeed, than at any 
other period for forty years. It was not unt5 

1899 that prices began to improve. During that 

rZ .^^ ' ^''"■*«'"* ^^-^O ^ hundred. In 

1900 the average was 15.25, in 1901 it was |6 10 
and m 1902 it was just |7. It will be readii; 
appreciated that there is more profit in pork at 
seven cents a pound than at three and a half cents ; 
but how much more is beyond me, for it cost no 
more to get my swine to market last year than 
It did m 1896. I charge each hog $1 for bran 
and shorts; this is all the ready money I pay 
out for him. If he weighs three hundred pounds 
(a few do), he is worth $10.50 at $3.50 a hundred, 
or $21 at $7 a hunared ; and it is a great deal 



400 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



pleasanter to say 11 from $21, loaves f20. t;ian to 
say $1 from $10.50 leaves $9.50. 

Of course, fl a head is but a small part of 
what the hog has cost when ready for market, 
but it is all I charge him with directly, for his 
other expenses are carried on the farm accounts. 
The marked increase in income during the past 
four years is wholly due to the advance in the 
price of pork and the increased product of the or- 
chards. The expense account has not varied much. 

The fruit crop is charged with extrt. labor, 
packages, aijd transportation, before it is entered, 
and the account shows only net returns. I have 
had to buy new machinery, but this has been 
rather evenly distributed, and doesn't show promi- 
nently in any year. 

In 1900 I lost my forage barn. It was struck 
by lightning on June 13, and burned to the 
ground. Fortunately, there was no wind, and 
the rain came in such torrents as to keep the 
other buildings safe. I had to scour the country 
over for hay to last a month, and the expense of 
this, together with some addition to the insurance 
money, cost the farm $1000 before the new struc- 
ture was completed. I give below the income 
and the outgo for the last four years : — 





iNoon 


ExPEirsn 


To TBS Good 


isns . 


. il7,780.00 


»15,420.00 


»2,380.0O 


1800 


. 19,480.00 


16,480.00 


2,980.00 


1901 


. 21,42100 


15,620.00 


5,904.00 


1902 


. 23,365.00 


15,673.00 


7,692.00 



Making s total to the good of , , 118,936.00 



LOOKING BACKWARD 401 

These figures cover only the money received 
and expended. They take no account of the 
J4000 per annum wliich we agreed to pay the 
farm for keepmg us, so long as we „.ade it pay 

which, added to 1818,936, makes almost S3C000 
to charge off from the «106,000 of original 
investment. * 

Polly was wrong when she spoke of it as a per. 
manent mvesiment. Four years more of seven-dol- 
lar pork and thrifty apple growth will make this 
balance of #71,000 look very small. The interest 
IS growing rapidly less, and it will be but a short 
time before the whole amount will be taken off 
the expense account. When this is done the 
yearly balance will be increased by the addition 
of ISOOO, and we may be able to make ihe farm 
pay for weddings, as Polly suggested. 



Sb 



in 



CHAPTER LXVII 



LOOKINQ FOKWABD 

I AM not 80 opinionated as to think that mine 
is the only method of farming. On the contrary, 
I know that it is only one of several good methods ; 
but that it is a good one, I insist. For a well-to-do, 
middle-aged 'man who was obliged to give up his 
profession, it offered change, recreation, employ- 
ment, and profit. My ability to earn money by 
my profession ceased in 1895, and I must needs 
live at ease on my income, or adopt some con- 
genial and remunerative employment, if such could 
be found. The vision of a factory farm had flitted 
through my brain so often that I was glad of the 
opportunity to test my theories by putting them 
into practice. Fortunately I had money, and to 
spare ; for I had but a vague idea of what money 
would be needed to carry my experiment to the 
point of self-support. I set aside 860,000 as 
ample, but I spent nearly twice that amount 
without blinking. It is quite likely that I could 
have secured as good and as prompt returns with 
two-thirds of this expenditure. I plead guilty 
to thirty-three per cent lack of economy ; the ex- 
tenuating circumstances were, a wish to let the 



LOOKING FORWARD 403 

members of my family do much as they pleased 
and have good things and good people around 
them.jnd a somewhat luxurious temperament of 

Polly and I were too wise (not to say too old) 
to adopt farming as a means of grace through 
privations We wanted the good there was in 
It, and nothing else; but as a secondary consid- 
eration I wished to prove that it can be made to 
pay well, even though one-third of the money 
expended goes for comforts and kickshaws 

It IS not necessary to spend so much on a five- 
hundred-acre farm, and a factory farm need not 
contain so many acres. Any number of acres 
from forty to five hundred, and any number of 
dollars from $5000 to «100,000, will do, so long 
as one holds fast to the rules: good clean fences 
for security against trespass by beasts, or weeds; 
mgh tilth, and heavy cropping; no waste or fal- 
low land ; conscientious return to the land of 
refuse, and a cover crop turned under every 
second year; the best stock that money can buy 
feed for product, not simply to keep the animals 
alive ; force product in every way not detrimental 
to the product itself; maintain a strict quaran- 
tine around your animals, and then depend upon 
pure food, water, air, sunlight, and good shelter 
to keep them healthy ; sell as soon as the prod- 
uct IS finished, even though the market doesn't 
please you; sell only perfect i>roduct under your 
own brand; buy when the market pleases you 



4M 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



li ■ 



^ 



and thus « discount the seasons"; remember tha 
interdependent industries are the essence of fa( 
tory farming ; employ tlie best men you can fir.c 
and keep them interested in your affairs ; hdv 
a definite object and make everything ben( 
toward that object ; plant apple trees galore an( 
make them your chief care, as in time they wil 
prove your chief dependence. These are som^ 
of the principles of factory farming, and om 
doesn't have to be old, or rich, to put them int( 
practice. 

I would exchange my age, money, and acre! 
for youth and forty acres, and think that I hac 
the best of the bargain ; and I would start th* 
factory by planting ten acres of orchard, buying 
two sows, two cows, and two setting hens 
Youth, strength, and hustle are a great sight bet 
ter than money, and the wise youth can have a 
finer farm than mine before he passes the half 
century mark, even though he have but a bare 
forty to begin with. 

I do not take it for granted that every man 
has even a bare forty ; but millions of men who 
have it not, can have it by a little persistent self- 
denial ; and when an able-bodied man has forty 
acres of ground under his feet, it is up to him 
whether he will be a comfortable, independent, 
self-respecting man or not. 

A great deal of farm land is distant from mar- 
kets and otherwise limited in its range of pro- 
duction, but nearly every forty which lies east 



LOOKING FORVVABD 



405 

Farm lands are each yZ be I k "" "'^'"""«- 
to markets by steam' and eriic""',' '"''"" 
phone and telegraphic wi es t^^^Z^ '^'^ 
vice; anc tne daily distrih,,*- ''"""'^"^'■e ser- 
the producer into It? u °^ "'^"^ ^'"'■"g^ 
The day Tiso kti^n 7"^ ""''^ "'« '-•<'"^"™«^ 

and th/farmrtTp:!:! rr '''^"^^^•^^• 

ket. He is learnin.. ti ■ "^ '" "'« '"'*'- 

tion, both in pr^d Lgi:dl"'r "^ ^"^P*^- 
wares; he has naid ol i '^■«P"-'*'ng of his 

°>oney in the bank h. '''°'''''' "'"^ ''- 

and byfar'theto'; 'd prnJabTl '" T""^^' 
state. Like the wrestler of oH . '"' '" *^" 
strength whenever rLft°ou;,:''S";^ "T 

dread country life for fh« '''""*'^^"- ^et no one 
;»""«- »' 0»'n8 .king, .tth dS .t 

This is out of an C:So\ltS:t 

credS tol '^''P''°P°'-"°"' ""!««« it is to be 
credited to environment. Ls it due to pure air 



4oe 



THE FAT OF THE LAND 



and sunshine, making redder blood and more vig- 
orous development, to broader horizons and free- 
dom from abnormal conventions ? Or does a close 
relation to primary things give a newness to 
mind and body wliich is granted only to those 
who apply in person ? 

Whatever the reason, it certainly pays to be 
country-bred. The citit's draw to themselves the 
cream of these youngsters, which is only natural ; 
but the cities do not breed them, except as 
exotics. 

If the unborn would heed my advice, I would 
say. By all means be born in the country, — in 
Ohif^ if possible. Bu', if fortune does not prove 
a? k :;■;.' to you as I could wish, accept tl's other 
advice: Clioose the country for your foster- 
mother ; go to her for consolation and rejuvena- 
tion, take her bounty gratefully, rest on her fair 
bosom, and be content with the fat of the land. 



•*C'I ■■■'■'' 



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The Garden of a Commuter's Wife 

Recorded by the Oardvmr 

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Cloth iiat ,, j^ 

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p«.du. o, Which it L privi!";'crh::" ■,::'■**::;•; v:""^"' 

A Woman's Hardy Garden 

By HELMA OTTHKEFOKD ELY 

With nunylUtmraUon, from Photograph, taken ,n the Author'. Gartc 
by Profeisor C F. Ciiandlm ^^ 



Cloth 



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